Bigwood Art

The Creative Work of Beverly Bigwood


After 5 years of creating art works in the three-dimensional universe - employing steel, wood, stone, ceramic tiles and clay as mediums - I have returned to my first love; the sensuality of oil paint on canvas using figurative expressionism as a means to share my perception of the human condition.

To me the human form, whether face or figure, is a vessel which contains abundant variety and ingenuity, and allows me, through my expressions, to communicate different ideas and philosophies I have and wish to share with the world.

Displaying the body enables me to convey the full articulation of being human with all its beauty, vigor, nuances and perversities. It allows me to shed light into all aspects of emotions and produce a greater understanding of what it really means to live.

My recent paintings are about relationships and those intangible substances that either cement us together, or push us apart. It is an attempt to personify the need in humans to form symbiotic arrangements where two usually incredibly dissimilar organisms form a close union or some type of cooperative association.

The countless combinations of these unions, including the safe and sweet, enhancing and evolving, coarse and complicated, or vulgar and abusive, is the vast, diverse and often profound subject matter that now propels me back into the painting world.

Relationships have always fascinated me: the life long dance between families and friends; the passion and intensity of lovers; those rare moments when a single word or deed can reverse the polarity from friend to enemy; that energy that attracts and entices us into a communication to reveal and to trust; or disgusts us, repulses us, humiliates us, degrades us or demoralizes us.  

A very fine line separates love from hate and at times its position is quite flexible and incredibly erratic. That amorphous, breathing entity consumes my art. It is a mirror of society. The highs and lows. The simplicity and complexities.

Each work of art has its own psychology. Life is art waiting to be applied to canvas. The stillness of one image allows the viewer to pause and become reflective. Every thought, breath, action, response is just another brush stroke -- A presentation of a catalyst for self discovery or analysis.

I am, through my art, a social commentator where everything influences me; movies, TV, radio, conversations, dreams, newspapers, magazines, photographs, textiles, color, nature, people, animals. The written word has in some cases provided a title for a painting not yet created. Model bodies in fashion layouts inspire a tension or a flow that transposes itself onto my canvases. Even pornography’s sexuality and provocative allure is a fuel for the sensuality of oils.

Through its composition and color, a painting can evoke emotions and sensations that were once as hidden as the blankness of the canvas. It’s a wonderful power. I love, and am challenged by, the magic of taking a blank white canvas and with a bit of imagination and pigment, creating an image that can emotionally engage the viewer: that within its one defining frame has the potential effect of a blockbuster movie or a best-selling novel.

They are a bit of a movie - a series of frames of a long and complicated story that the viewer becomes part of. Seduced to be the principal player or becoming a supporting cast member in the imaginative narrative that has no beginning or end.

I’ve had a very interesting, if convoluted, life. It has been a blessing, mostly, and I share those experiences of goodness and kindness and beauty through my art. They are my vehicles for rebirth. They are my meditations on the metaphysical. A mirror of the subconscious.

A portal into being. A reflection. A recognition. An opening into the void.

A gift.