Art has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. It’s intuitive to me. I see wonder all around me and I want to capture my view on paper or canvas. For many years I did art in my “spare time” but three years ago I left my career to fulfill my lifelong dream of concentrating solely on art daily. I couldn’t be happier. I wake each day and can’t wait to get into my studio. My garden series arose from my love of gardening. Each year I plant my garden to excess. To me, gardening is so similar to painting. I choose colors and textures to blend together in new and exciting ways. I never quite know exactly how my garden will turn out. Painting my flowers is just a natural extension of combining two things I adore. Traveling is another inspiration. I love exploring the environment I’m in with its new shapes and color combinations. I see beauty in the ordinary and revel in sharing that vision with others. My art becomes a picture diary of the days of my life. I love watercolors. While looking for ways to make my painting more vibrant, I came across alcohol inks. I was instantly attracted to their vivid colors. I have been using alcohol inks for about two years now. They are very similar to watercolors but use rubbing alcohol as their medium. Thank you for your interest in my work. I find art is an ever-growing part of my daily life and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share it with you.
“I graduated with a B.F.A. in Printmaking from Northern Illinois University in 2010 and have been a self-employed artist ever since. I’ve been printing my hand carved woodblock prints with an old Conrad Dickerson Machine Press – great for saving my hands from having to rub each print with the back of a wooden spoon, but occasionally I will still print by hand.
My studio resides in two locations: the big printing press is out at my in-laws’ farmstead in the Shirland, IL area in an old converted cow barn. It now hosts my father-in-law’s art studio for his printmaking, paper making, and painting work. The second location is the majority of my basement at home in Rockford, IL. I draw and carve all my woodblocks there and even print my cards there with a small metal hand press.
The original owner of the farm where my printing press is located was from the early 1800s and he was one of the first settlers in the area and a prominent figure in the local community. His name was Lemuel Fisk. The farm is out in the country, away from the busyness of the city. Some of the plants in my prints are inspired by native prairie plants that I’ve been able to find in the back wild field at the farm. Connecting my business name to the original owner of the farm, with a little feminine flare to it, allows that peacefulness to be communicated through my work. When you hang my prints on your wall or send one of my greeting cards, they will bring a little bit of that natural-space and peaceful feeling to your home and to your correspondences.”
I am a collage and textile artist who has lived in the Northern Illinois area for the past thirty years. A lifelong love of textiles has led to exploration into weaving, spinning, dye applications, art quilts and collage. As an art educator I have taught spinning, weaving and surface design at Rockford College, textile workshops in fabric printing and felt making and Artist in Residencies in area schools. The imagery portrayed in my work reflects a love of the natural world and a passion for nature. Each wall piece is an original design carefully executed in fabrics and papers from around the world. Currently my work can be seen at select times in The Prairie Street Gallery at The Brewhouse.
Barbara R. McNamara is a Rockford artist who has been a painter for many years. She has studied under Katherine Lord, Dorothy Bock and Robert McCauley. Barbara graduated from the College of New Rochelle, New York with a Bachelor of Arts, and Loyola University in New Orleans with a master’s degree in Pastoral Ministry. She has taught primary grades, and music and art classes. Her work has been shown at “Art on the Lawn” at Rockford College, Greenwich Art Fair and Fall/Spring Arts Scenes, Lakeshore Arts Festival, Evanston and Arts Fesitval in Grand Detour, IL.