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Barry Rafuse, SFCA, SCA
I was born in New Westminster, BC and spent my growing up years in Maple Ridge. As a teenager, I became interested in drawing and painting, particularly trees. I continued “hobby painting” well into adult life. After a thirty-five year career in the judicial system and after raising a family, I decided to become a serious and professional artist.
I have taken numerous painting courses and have had my work accepted into many juried exhibitions. I first painted traditional landscapes and seascapes using watercolor or acrylic paint on paper. I soon found myself experimenting with mixed media, collage and texturing materials.
No surprise, I discovered abstract forms and this led to my love for painting colorful, textured abstracts on large canvases. I have been influenced by the works of Richard Diebenkorn, Brian Rutenberg and Franz Kline.
Rarely do I commence a painting with preconceived ideas or a predictable outcome. I like the challenge of working with the unknown and capitalizing on “happy accidents” when the paint and textures interact. The exploration time takes hours, days or even weeks. In the end, a painting which satisfies me, will have evolved. I strive to keep the painting loose and bold. If I spend too much time on the painting, it will invariably become too structured or too detailed and I will have to start over. I do not want a painting to look pretty or recognizable – I want the image to be dramatic and mysterious.
I am a Senior Member (SFCA) of the Federation of Canadian Artists. I teach mixed media courses, jury shows and continue to exhibit work in galleries and juried exhibitions.
Painting has become part of my life. It keeps me grounded.