Barbara Campbell Thomas
I gather the pieces of my paintings through a series of habitual actions: 1. I fill sketchbooks with quick line drawings of words, objects, and patterns. I make the drawings while attending to tasks like making dinner, giving my son a bath, or writing a syllabus. 2. I tear off the front panels of cereal boxes, six-pack containers, and old birthday cards to use as material for an ongoing series of small, fast, early morning collages—my daily visual calisthenics. 3. I stockpile worn-out clothing and sheets from the local Salvation Army, cloth that had a practical function in an earlier state of use. I carry the drawings, collages, and fabric from my home to my studio, where I make methodical arrangements on white, gessoed canvas. Slow, attenuated brushstrokes, snipped pieces of textile, and painted shapes originating in sources as disparate as food packaging board, children’s drawings, and historical quilt patterns combine to create a language of vernacular abstraction.