Location: Wayzata, Minnesota
Describe your featured work:
It is always exciting for an artist when unformed ideas suddenly come together while painting. “Wandering Thoughts” was one of those moments and the painting opened a vista for my current “Inside/Outside” painting series to grow into.
In this painting I juxtaposed a young woman sitting indoors into an unlikely outdoors nature setting. Since there is an obvious disconnect between the person and the new location, the painting’s meaning begins to slowly slide into a psychological or spiritual dimension. I am intrigued by how the painting seems to have something significant and true to say but how it does not easily reveal its meaning – if there IS one meaning! The disjoint between the visual elements allows meanings to surface that are more than what the eyes alone can see.
As a painter whose inspiration comes from observation, I love it when my painted images become something more than their parts, when they become symbols of what is typical in our common human experience, references of to the glory and significance hidden in and all around us.
As a figurative and landscape artist I use the allure of everyday moments to create visual stories and poems with paint. I observe the ordinary people and places around me and wait for that something extraordinary to appear, something that references who we really are and what we have been given, something akin to the burning in the bushes all around us.
What are you working on now?
I recently completed a series of paintings focused on tree branch junctions. It interested me to see how the effects of a tree’s environment and its unique “personality” could be seen in its growth. The tree branch junctions easily became symbols for various experiences in human life. I named the first painted tree – a strong, straight tree with a branch or two broken off – after my grandfather. Another pair of trees with entwined roots grew into a symbol for two lives shared over many years.
My new series is called “Inside/Outside.”
Why do you belong to CIVA?
As the daughter of CIVA’s founder, Eugene Johnson, I share CIVA’s goal to create and promote a community of believing artists who share among themselves the support, encouragement and affirmation needed for joyful relationship and powerful creativity. Through my contact with Christ-centered artists’ groups in various countries I have experienced the value of such relationships. I am now gladly investing in the rich relationships growing within CIVA’s Heart to Heart groups.
Barbara Lidfors grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota. She earned a BA in English education and a MFA in painting. Her formative art years were spent in Germany where she lived for 38 years. There she participated in international art events, showing her work in over 100 exhibitions in 9 countries. She also taught art in German schools and an American university. In 2020 she returned to Minnesota where she continues to paint the significance and allure of the people and places around her.