June 2018 Feature Artist - Barbara A. Friedman

B A R B A R A  A. F R I E D M A N

 Spring Sprung, 5" x 5"

“The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness.”
John Muir

In a world consumed by digital, it is refreshing to have the opportunity to change paths and artistically visit a new and tactile landscape.  This June the Fat Canary Journal travels that road as it celebrates the energetic collages created by the artist Barbara Friedman.  

Inspired by her memories of the woods, these works are bouncy and joyful, capturing both trees as well as the journey through the forest. 

 Tiny Scape, 2" x 3"

Small in scale, some as little as two or three inches, but packing a big visual impact, the work clearly displays the artist’s strengths in color, composition and graphic design.  In line with much of her earlier work, also nature inspired, the work is a wonderful segue into a new medium. 

Sunday Morning Meditation, 5" x 5"

The artist’s story begins with her earliest visual memory a rainbow prism reflected on a hallway wall. That same interest in light and color continues to hold Barbara’s fascination, and influences her work today.

Consistently interested in memory, Barbara uses the act of “re-actualization of a moment”, a way to hold onto a memory before it slips away. These “memory moments” are an opportunity to revisit spaces and places now gone, a viscerally connective way to hold onto a memory.

 Woods, 5" x 7"


I have always been drawn to collage for its intrinsic rhythmic qualities that seemed to transport time. I started doing collage as means of escape; I was sitting in a huge traffic jam not moving for close to two hours, it seems like a good thing to do with my time! Intermittently I have dipped into collage as a way to relieve frustration, boredom, or just the chance freeing nature of it. Recently, I have been exploring it with more focus.

These current collages are inquiries and investigations of the landscape. My interest is allied very much with memory to evoke the scenes and moments much like I have done in more formal paintings. Each image is a collage using paper I have previously painted to create a color palette; occasionally some paper from a magazine or other ephemera is incorporated. The process of putting the collages together will I think serve to develop where paintings will go.  I see these compositions as total works with their own integrity, but do see a way that they are informing my seeing and desire to incorporate more intuitive methods. 

 Just Trees, 5" x 7"

There is something in the manner of "constructing" that holds both a mental fascination and a process fascination for me in the method of their creation. These began in a small sketchbook and are now growing to include more archival materials. Sketches are not used to develop these, but intuition is used as a guide. 

 Winter Cold, 5" x 7"

I really do close my eyes and try to get into a “state” where I am both feeling and seeing a place I have been. Why some places stay like photographs in my mind I can’t say, but they allow me to hold onto memories very clearly, and sometimes dearly. 


For many years Barbara, who holds a BFA from Parsons School of Design, worked as an art director, graphic designer, and illustrator, always creating personal work on the side. She began graduate school in 2001, working toward her MFA at William Paterson University of New Jersey. 

While there, she integrated digital and traditional painting, experimenting with what was then considered “new technology.” She now uses the same risk-taking applied there in classes she teaches on the higher education level, producing work with students that encourages exploration.

 Landscape Inquiry, 5" x 5"

Longing for Spring, 8" x 10"



"Postcards from the Edge", Metro Pictures, New York, NY

"NJ and You", Village West Gallery, Jersey City, NJ

"The Grass is Greener", Gallery U, Westfield, NJ


"Faces, Places, & Spaces", Gallery at Eisenberg’s, New York, NY

     Artist Talk, William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ

"Made in New York", group show, La Maison de Arts, Lavelanet, France

"Landscapes", group show, The Gallery at Fiddleheads, Jamesburg, NJ

Faculty Show, Ben Shahn Gallery, William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ


“In the Park", group show, views of landscape at the Grand Theatre Gallery 

      (Home of the Road Company), Williamstown, NJ

"Postcards from the Edge", Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York, NY


"Landscape", Fall, Somerset County NJ Cultural & Heritage Gallery


"Mixing Palettes", selected participating plein air artist and exhibit

 Olde York Cellars, Ringoes, NJ


"The Artist’s Project", NY artists photographed & interviewed


"Urban Legends & Country Tales", juried exhibit of digital art, Bonita Museum, Bonita, CA


"Animal Presence", River Vale Public Library, River Vale, NJ

"Crossing Over", juried exhibit, Albuquerque, New Mexico

"Postcards from the Edge", James Cohan Gallery, NY


"Digital ’05: "Exquisite", juried show at NY Hall of Science, Queens, NY

Selected faculty exhibit, Abstraction & Digital Prints, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY

"New Jersey Masters", The Shore Institute of Contemporary Art, Long Branch, NJ

"Imageography", Juried exhibit, Cathedral Arts Gala & Exhibition, Jersey City, NJ


Selected speaker for artists talk series at Cathedral Arts, Jersey City, NJ

Paintings, juried exhibit, Cathedral Arts


Selected faculty exhibit, group show, Pratt Manhattan Gallery

Group show, mixed media, Power Art Gallery at William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ


Faculty exhibit, Pratt Manhattan, New York, NY


"Digital Salon", group show at School of Visual Arts, New York, NY


"The Women’s Room", Invitational Illustration exhibit, Parsons School of Design, New York, NY


"Small Works", faculty exhibit at Parsons School of Design, New York, NY


Made in New York, article in La D├ępeche Lavelanet, France, July, 2016

Out in New Jersey, Interview: Connections: Art & Its Significance in Today’s Society,
April-May 2016 issue

 House Dreams, 5" x 7"

For a printable version of this feature artist please click here



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