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The Studio & Spirits Dream by Barbara Sparhawk

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Finally the whole picture in one frame. This one’s for you, billyboy.

“The Studio & Spirits Dream” Oil on Canvas.
I spent the last decade uprooted and on the road. I landed in a barn for awhile on a millionaire’s horse ranch, eventually turning the tack room into a studio that was liveable, enabling me to move out of the ranch’s bunkhouse (12 X 12 foot room with sink) and take up barn residence. It was a wonderful place for 4 years with horse pasture – about 200 occupants – out the door. Goats, sheep, mule named Corizon and Rambo the Ram in stalls and paddock on the other side, the Santa Lucia range all misty , mooned, sunned, gusted, and Milky Wayed before me. And it was the first functional studio I’d had in years. I wrote. And I painted.
This dream, this studio I painted there, is crowded with things I loved and hadn’t seen in ages, stored on the other side of America. Over filled with people I’d loved who’d died. With animals alive and not, who still owned my heart. With a chair from my twenties that no longer existed and the dream of my own bed again where such dreams could populate my nights. The cats who survived the move from Brooklyn then to Virginia’s wilderness then across country are on my bed, and some who departed before we got there, here too. My wonderful chocolate Lab – Rodin – is on alert at the bed’s end. A woodstove I’d seen once that would restore life to this heatless barn (I eventually got a kerosene heater). Some of my many thousands of books I carry with me that prop up my life are here, and all the intimate angels swinging through the undone work, the ready easel, the heart’s workplace.

The Hawks Perch

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afterlife, bed, cats, dog, dream, easel, life, spirit, stove

Professional Expressionist, portrait painter, writer, children’s book illustrator, entrepreneur, and adventuress.

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  • billyboy
    billyboyover 6 years ago

    Barbara, you are as gorgeous as this wonderful painting which is going straight into my favs. Seeing the whole picture is a revelation and is an insight into where your beautiful imagination is capable of taking me. No pork chops lying around I notice…

    Beautiful colors to match your sentiment in this wonderful tribute to your amazing, romantic soul. Thank you so much for posting this and dedicating it to me.

    Hugs to you, BB

  • Hugs back, good and new friend. You’re a wonderful observor as well as practitioner. Thank you for pushing me. Nothing to match someone actually WANTING to see my work, and I am forever indebted. I’m working on learning the camera, great education.

    – Barbara Sparhawk

  • Barssel
    Barsselover 6 years ago

    Geez how miuch better are these……………….gorgeous Barb, keep them coming.

  • I think I’m nearly played out, for now. It’s amazing to finally be able to get better shots of my work, really makes me feel good. And as always my estimation of the photographers here soars. I DO NOT KNOW how you do what you do. Thanks for all the encouraging words, Adrian. You’ve helped me so much.

    – Barbara Sparhawk

  • whisperingruth
    whisperingruthover 6 years ago

    Ahhhhhhhh ………..this is truly a special piece for you Barbara………….your art and your beautiful pet friends are such a large part of who you are……..that I know for sure…………Extraordinary artistry Barbara………really, really lovely!! xx

  • I still think I’ll walk into a building one day and all this will be there. Many thanks toujours, little sister.

    – Barbara Sparhawk

  • salsbells69
    salsbells69over 6 years ago

    Oh I just love was pretty much how I imagined you really..its awesome…such a great insight to your life and your surrounds..the people, the animals..just such a great character. full of romance and dreams. I really love this Barbara…thanks for sharing.

  • Very kind of you Sal. It’s always amazing, the kind of stuff that pops out of the brain and heart.

    – Barbara Sparhawk

  • Nikolay Semyonov
    Nikolay Semyonovover 6 years ago

    emotions splasning… awesome work, Barbara!

  • You’re kind to say so, Nicolai. It’s full of so many things for me, a bit like an overfilled notebook with sentences running into the margins. I’m so very glad you like it.

    – Barbara Sparhawk

  • RSart
    RSartover 6 years ago

    my studio looks smething like this.. wonderful painting and so full of details.. you need hours to take in everything

  • Very kind, RSart, thanks so much….I’m glad too to hear that chaos rules in your studio too. As it should be.

    – Barbara Sparhawk

  • JanG
    JanGover 6 years ago

    This was good in parts, but is absolutely stunning in its entirety! Wonderful dream!

  • Very kind, you’re making me glow. Thanks so very much, Jan.

    – Barbara Sparhawk

  • Heather  Rivet  IPA
    Heather Rivet...over 6 years ago

    i love this one..amazing ..everything about this is outstanding

  • Thank you so much, Heather. It’s one of the ones I wasn’t sure I’d put up, there’s a lot going on and I figured without the code in my own head it would be incomprehensible. Just goes to show. I am so heartwarmed that it’s got meaning for others here, it’s been terrific to read the comments and made me feel so good!

    – Barbara Sparhawk

  • rosepepper
    rosepepperover 6 years ago

    Fabulous and great to see the entire image with space to the left in contrast with the clutter of favourite objects and of course the cats, sculptures and whimisical figures and the books on the red chair. So you, complex and busy and colourful.

  • Thank you kindly for your words and eye. And I hadn’t even noticed there was space to the left. I guess I’d never get work as an architect. Inside my houses wherever I’ve lived, everything’s out, nothing’s ‘away’ so I can always see and touch the bits I love and have collected.I do have closets, but I periodically open the doors, try on all the clothes inside, put them back on hangers and contentedly step away. Some form of insanity perhaps, or wanting contact with all the things I live with, they all have such powerful force to me.

    – Barbara Sparhawk

  • VonMcKnelly
    VonMcKnellyover 6 years ago

    I too have lived in such places so this touches me on many levels.
    LOL It makes me want to move back to Paris….thanks for that! :-}

  • Much appreciated, Von. I’m glad it serves as a memory for you; thanks.

    – Barbara Sparhawk

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