About the Work

“I thrive on exploring in my paintings a fine line like a bridge, where realism and abstraction have the chance to meet depending on how one chooses to look at it, like standing on a cross road and having the freedom to go either way.

I especially love painting water and could happily do so for the rest of my life. I had the good fortune to live on the beach for eight years and spent hours each day watching the waves rolling in and crashing on the beach.

Water is primal. It has a life of its own. It can be wild and dark or as smooth and calm as a mirror. I’m intrigued when the sun bounces off the surface and the light filters through the water. It’s like the light itself becomes liquid. With its constantly changing forms and colors, it appears realistic and abstract at the same time.

“Water is primal. It has a life of its own.”

I love living here on the Sunshine Coast, BC, with its people from all walks of life, its rocky beaches and gorgeous rainforests. But what I love most is the stillness. There is a silence here so deep and profound you actually can hear it.

I work in oils and devote a lot of time and careful thought to each painting, producing approximately only 15 paintings a year. When I’m in my studio time slows right down. I can watch myself breathe and am able to contemplate my own thoughts more clearly.

One of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of painting is arriving at that place of stillness where I can listen to the painting and hear what it’s telling me to do. Every brush stroke provides the blueprint for the next one and takes me into a space of peace and quiet where I trust my intuition more deeply. There is always a point in the process where the painting itself takes over and I feel like I`m just a passive observer watching it evolve.

My greatest hope for my work is that it evokes the same joy, peace and freedom I feel while painting it.”
Josefa Fritz Barham

To learn more about Josefa’s background, click here.