Artist's Statement by Barbara Yon
When I was a small girl my single parent mother could not afford art lessons but I remember how excited I would be to get a new box of crayons. I loved the smell, the feel and what those little sticks could do.
I never developed drawing or painting until I was in college taking an Art Appreciation class. When I turned in a project which I was very proud of, I asked my professor if she thought I had any talent. She said: "Well if you do, it is well hidden." I was not an art major in college but from then on I did art in fashion design, interior design, cake decorating, gardening and many crafts.
After my two children were grown and I retired from twenty years of teaching, I began to take some art classes. I loved every minute and could not wait for the next class, so would get together with friends between classes to paint. I love the materials just as I loved that box of crayons I got as a child (which I still use today in my art). I want all the art books and try to do all the examples!! I enjoy experimenting with objects in my art which you will not find on an art supply list.
After several mission trips to Japan, I began to collect the beautiful papers from that country. I have always been drawn to Asian art and their culture, so I enjoyed my time there. After returning home I began to make collages from the many papers and silk fabric that I brought home. I also have taught many collage classes, to which I always contribute the use of my collection of papers.
I am now working in acrylics (and a multitude of other "things"). I love texture in my pieces and often glue papers, stamps, buttons, or make shapes using gesso. This exhibit at the Art Center of Ridge Spring is a showing of abstracts which I have been working in for the past two years. I thought this would be easy and more fun expression of me but found it very hard to include the principles of good design in them also.
I am a member of Ridge Spring Art Association, Aiken Artist Guild and Anderson Artist Guild. I enjoy entering the various shows, but my favorite is the SC State Fair where not only was I juried into the show but won an award on an abstract that will be in this exhibition. I appreciate the local guilds and art centers which try hard to encourage people in the community to become interested in art.
In October,2010, Barbara Yon received the Reuben Gambrell Award of Merit at the South Carolina State Fair for her painting, "Summer Fun."
Barbara won a gold ribbon for the judge's class at the Aiken Artist Guild Annual Members' Show May 20, 2010. "Number Crunch" was awarded second place in the two-dimensional category. Judge Alan MacTaggart, Chair of the Augusta State University Department of Art, described Yon's work as a "rich assemblage of fragments in a cubist nocturne well composed" and termed it the best of the abstract works in the show.
Barbara won an award for her abstract painting, "Mystery II," at the 2008 AAG members' show. The judge, Fran Gardner, critiqued this work as follows: "The color use in this piece is quite nice--it kind of mimics in a way a sort of line that Georgia O'Keefe used in some of her flower paintings except this one doesn't go anywhere near a flower - it just exists solely in the realm of color and texture and space. I am very pleased with it. I don't have the need to find any sort of subject beyond those things of color, texture, and space. There is a beautiful interplay of the red to orange tones working, creating tension with the turquoise to blue tones and those complements are creating a fine harmonious relationship. I want to wander through this painting and look at all those nice edges and then I find the surface texture mimicking those edges. The surface of this painting is alive and exciting, very electric."