The consistency in my paintings is in the process. I search for lines and shapes that become organic and abstract or take on elongated and whimsical human figures and often the semblance of an animal. The first stage is filling the canvas with one dark color and brushing over this with a lighter hue. I continue brushing and blending in different directions creating a definition of form and pattern. Step two is almost meditative: sitting in a chair and staring at the canvas until imaginary, yet recognizable shapes come into focus. The only definite part of the composition is one central figure from my sketchbook. At some point one of these figures speaks to a psychological aspect of my life which I want to express. While painting, this figure completely transforms from the original sketch. My goal is to create a fantasy world that can be interpreted in any way the viewer chooses.
Painting makes me feel like the director of a drama filled with color. It lets me participate in a larger creative energy and most importantly allows me to impact and share this creativity with others.
Bartell is a two time recipient of the Artist Showcase Award for “The Healing Power of Art” and “Positive Art that Uplifts the Spirit”, both Manhattan Arts International on-line exhibits. Her work has been juried into the 2008 Durham Art Guild exhibit, juror Beverly McIver; the 2010 Raleigh Fine Arts Society exhibit, juror John Beerman; The 2011 Frank Gallery “Black and White” exhibit, juror John Rosenthal; the 2012 Visual Art Exchange “Contemporary South” exhibit, juror Xandra Eden.
Bartells’ paintings have been highlighted in North Carolina’s Raleigh News and Observers’ “What’s Up: Critics Picks On Best Art”, Professional Artist Magazine and the “Sightseeing column of Artsee Magazine, North Carolina.