ARTIST STATEMENT AND BIO
Barbara H. Rabkin
“ I make art like I bake sour dough bread: with a big appetite and with great enjoyment in the hands-on process. My bread requires that I follow recipes; my art dictates that I improvise and experiment with multiple media.
In art, I take my cues from my environment, my memories, my moods. I create when I’m happy or wish to feel happy. I borrow gladly and with appreciation from artists, especially 20th c expressionists.
It is color which takes the leading role in my work. Whatever the medium, I explore how colors relate to one another, how they generate responses, how they evoke moods. My paper weavings and collages in particular, are a process of unearthing a new expression through intentional or accidental placement of color.
Art for me is very much about returning to the joy of childhood, when I played freely with crayons, paint, clay, scissors, needle and thread. Now, when my fingers and hands engage physically with whatever media I choose - paper, fabric, paint, clay, stone- cutting, tearing, breaking, weaving, painting, pasting, and I allow myself to be spontaneous, when I find new patterns and pleasing shapes, then I feel energized and exhilarated. That for me is the joy I try to capture and share.
Art for me is about self discovery: what do I want to say and how do I want to say it. As with baking- I feel such joy when it turns out well. And both art and bread are best when shared.
Barbara Rabkin, a self-educated multi-media artist, taught and exhibited her art in her hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio. She continued to teach and show her art in Panama, where she and her late husband lived for 9 years.
Barbara currently lives and creates art in her home studio in Carmel Valley, San Diego.
Barbara developed her interest in painting on silk when requested to make a wedding chuppa for her oldest son. She continued to develop this art form, creating Judaica and wearable art for clients and teaching silk painting privately and at the Art Academy of Cincinnati’s community education program.
In Panama, Barbara opened a studio and taught silk painting to visiting tourists as well as residents from throughout the region. She also took advantage of the colorful culture and impressive landscapes to create large quilted impressionistic tapestries in her hand dyed silk, as well as watercolors and acrylic paintings.
Barbara’s art- acrylics, watercolors, oils, pencil, collages, mosaics, clay, textiles- shows her affinity for the rich colors and bold lines of the expressionists.
Barbara’s commissions and other works are in private collections throughout Panama, Israel, Europe and the US.
Art Alliance, Oceanside Museum of Art Sept 2022
Two person show BFree Studio, La Jolla, CA April/May 2022
La Jolla Art and Wine, La Jolla CA Sept 2021
Group show- Lux, Encinitas CA Feb. 2019
Spanish Village, La Jolla CA April 2016
David,PA Convention Center Expo 2015
Installation - Retrogusto, Boquete, Panama Nov. 2015
Solo show Biblioteca de Boquete, Dec 2015
Solo show Mango, Boquete Panama Feb 2014
Solo show Manolo Caracol, Casco Viejo Panama City Mar 2013
Expo Helene Breebaart, Panana Cuty, Panama 2011
Solo show- Expo Orquideas, Boquete, Panama April 2009
A message to my Granddaughters:
This digital diary of my art is for you.
I have been blessed to be a mother, and to be your grandmother. I have been blessed to make a mark for good on the communities where I have lived. I have been blessed with an urge to create- Artist, Crafter, Maker, Baker - finding joy in trying new means of expression.
My hope is that you will live full and meaningful lives with your eyes, mind and heart wide open, and bravely make your own true mark.
Welcome to My Life (so far) in Color.
Born in Atlantic City NJ in 1945
Childhood in Cincinnati OH
Carmel Valley, San Diego CA 2017-present
Boquete, Panama 2008-2017
Cincinnati OH 1973-2008
George Washington University BA Political Science 1967
Columbia University BScNursing 1974