Larry Groff in Painting Perceptions:
“Barbara Kassel”s evocative paintings explore the passage of time. From her loft in New York City, she paints interior and exterior views, creating a visual diary of daily life. Working with oil on panel, the smooth surfaces are meticulously rendered serene scenes. Warm reds and yellow embrace cooler blues and grays and invite the viewer into the large-scale works. Kassel describes the paintings in part biographical and instinctually narrative. Carefully exploring the world around her, she mixes observation and invention as she captures fleeting moments in time.”
Larry Groff: Can you tell us something about your background? What lead you to become a painter?
Barbara Kassel: I was born in Los Angeles and grew up in the valley, in Studio City. I remember always drawing, painting and working on various craft projects. My older brother would use a red pencil to mark when I went out of the coloring book lines! I took my first art classes outside of school at a little frame/art shop on Ventura Blvd called The Flemish Art Shop. I painted Dutch like still lives with copal varnish as the medium, still lifes with watermelons and flowers and many a bright eyed furry kitten. I think that I came to painting as it was the most natural and satisfying way for me to be in the world. I liked the way I could create something, something that expressed the visual world and in a way, even early on, my interior life. My father had a serious heart condition and died of his third heart attack when I was 16. That had a profound effect on my life and how it unfolded. Immersing myself in painting and drawing had and continues to have a calming effect on me and helps me to integrate different aspects of my life.