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{Eye Candy: Kristine Barrett Johnson and Debbie Barrett-Jones}

May 13, 2011

Today’s post features two incredibly talented artists who happen to be sisters. Both women work in very different mediums, yet I see a mediative, connective vein in their art – a link established with their interest in pattern, layers and a masterful sensitivity towards their materials.


'Brown/Green/Gray' (detail) by Debbie Barrett-Jones

I met textile artist Debbie Barrett-Jones in 2003 when both of us were employed at a paper/invitations store. At the time, she was still a student at the Kansas City Art Institute and her early work consisted of beautifully crafted, mosaic landscapes made from hundreds of tiny, hand-cut pieces of paint chip samples. Her affinity for color, texture and detail was evident in her 2D work, but she really hit her stride when she discovered her passion for weaving – the elaborate process of which she is involved with from start to finish – from mathematically plotting her patterns for the loom with drawings and dying her yarn to the finished installations of her layered, hanging wall pieces.

'Aqua to Gray' by Debbie Barrett-Jones

Light, pattern and color are the focus of her woven pieces, establishing a harmonizing interplay between these three elements that are painterly and spiritual. Debbie plays with light and space in her pieces, varying the tightness of the weave as well as the gradations of hue in her color combinations and the results are absolutely stunning. You can see more of incredible work on her website, here and you can purchase her gorgeous, small-scale, wearable art (that’s my fancy term for scarves) at her Etsy shop, here.


'Athena' by Kristine Barrett Johnson

I became acquainted with California-based artist Kristine Barrett Johnson and her work through her sister Debbie during one of her visits to KC several years ago. I’ve long been a fan of her work and when I recently saw images of her new paintings on her website, my face nearly melted clean off.

'God Midir' by Kristine Barrett Johnson

A KCAI grad and multi-media artist, Kristine draws from a multitude of resources to create her rich, layered paintings, works on film and music. Each of her pieces resonate with a timeless feel, sharing an ethereal quality that is densely imbued with narrative. Utilizing her knowledge of natural history, folklore, literature and early Christian iconography, Kristine creates unique visual and audio artifacts which collectively tell a story that feels both fantastical and very real.

Kristine Barrett Johnson is an uncommonly gifted draftsman, painter, film-maker, musician and singer, you can see and listen to her phenomenal work on her website, here.



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