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Meet Gina Barry

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gina Barry.

Gina, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
We have a big family of makers. My uncles play with metal (blacksmiths and welders) Mom and her friends are quilters. They gather at my house every month to work on their projects. I love having the energy of old friends and their artwork and creativity fill my house every month. I am so grateful they bring me and my paint along for the ride.

I am a Third Generation Colorado Native. I grew up near Morrison CO.My mom still lives in the same house I grew up in. I loved living in a small town of Gunnison but met a boy and we moved to Denver. I worked in magazine publishing for a while. I did the usual: Bought a house, got married, got a dog, had a daughter.

As my day job grew more and more technical, my creativity began to leak out in drawing and painting. And then it began to pour out as I began painting in the evenings and started some painting and sipping classes on the side.

Along the way, I found a passion for travel and saved to go on trips. I have been so fortunate to see some of the world, like India, China, Italy, Spain, France. There are so many places to explore and see and I can’t wait to experience more of them. I love a good road trip too. Travel fills me up. It reminds me that people are the same all over the world. The culture and the language are different, but we are all looking for happiness and purpose and belonging. We are more similar than we are different. It inspired me; it gives me material; I always come back with a full tank, ready to do more art.

About five years ago, my marriage ended and I began a journey to figure out what I really want out of life. Cliches are for a reason, I guess, but mine is that my daughter is the best thing that I have ever been given – she gives me perspective; she helps me see the world through different eyes; she has taught me about unconditional love and living here and now. Haha, she gets me out of my head; it can be really zen spending time with my daughter. She is a really special kid. And I know I am biased.

In these last five years, the need to make became something more than just a thing to do, art became a therapy for me. When I am away from the creative too long, I can feel the drain on my soul. Art is still a side hustle, but I am hustling more and harder now. It has become a thing that I need rather than just something I do. I still work full time to pay the bills but I make art in the space between.

I started painting cards. First, it was covering over my art business cards with my old name. I wrote quotes and mantras on them and gave them away, I needed the words and hoped that some of the words that gave me hope would give hope to others. I still make these cards and still give them away. Maybe you will find one in a library book or hidden in the little spaces in the Denver area.

I found the concept of Wabi-Sabi. This idea has changed everything for me.

This is a Japanese concept to find beauty in the imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. This has been my guidepost in my imperfect life. Nothing is permanent, everything is imperfect and incomplete and there is so much beauty in those spaces. I believe that beauty is found in the imperfections when we look for it there.

I started “Artem Dare – painting for good.” I donate my time for painting classes to raising money for a good cause. See my website for details.

My story is not unique, Middle age mom, divorced. I am not perfect, I am a work in progress. But I think what makes my story interesting is that I am a living example of not giving up on my dream even when I am not making a living at it. I am making a life filled with joy and creativity among the hard stuff. I work full time, but I am painting more than ever. I have the beautiful opportunity to sell my artwork at Portfolio Gallery in Breckenridge CO. I joined Parker Arts Guild and am teaching some fun classes in their Lessons and Lemon-aid program and getting to show my work in shows around Parker. I started working from home so I can spend some of the precious time I have with my daughter.

Recently, I have found someone who really supports my dream and really encourages me to make art a priority.

I feel like I am just beginning to hit my stride in having my dreams in balance with my responsibilities. My dreams have changed significantly in the past five years. Life is imperfect but beautiful. And I get to make beautiful things to share in the space between.

We’d love to hear more about your art.
I love to draw mostly botanical and trees. I add paint for color or as the background for my drawings. My drawings with paint can be purchased at Portfolio Gallery in Breckenridge, CO. (portfoliobreck.com) My cards can be purchased at Modern Bungalow (modernbungalow.com)

My current body of work is a bit unique. I start with paint and a credit card to move paint around the page. Once the paint is dry – in another session – I go back in and find what lives in the paint with ink drawing over the painting. Sometimes it is a forest and landscape and sometimes it is botanical. I may return with paint to refine the space. I find order in the chaos and embrace the imperfections.

I do love to make art alone in my studio, but what I really love is to teach others my passion for art. The Artem Dare project is a big part of my art. I teach a mother/daughter painting class yearly class at Littleton Prep to raise funds for the school. I am teaching Gelli plate for Parker Arts Guild in 2020. I am always excited to donate my time for a good cause.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love Colorado – my bias of 3rd generation native is showing. I sometimes miss living in a small town but enjoy the big city life for now.

I have lived near Denver for most of my life – (before C470 even!) so seeing the huge changes as our city has grown. The traffic is a downside, but I love that so many people love it here. It is a magical city – close to the mountains. The only thing missing is the ocean! I never get bored and I never take its beauty for granted.

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