Barbara Kleinhans

barbarakleinhans's picture
Neighborhood: Western Addition

September 2021: I'd love to share with you "Sensual Sky - The Fog Collection", my most recent paintings inspired by the liminal space that San Francisco's famous fog inhabits. You can view them at

I am not able to participate in the 2021 Open Studios. Feel free to email me if you would like to arrange a studio visit (in-person or virtual), or visit my online shop

I’m a mix of a California city girl and a Wisconsin country girl. Both of those worlds inhabit my artwork and are connected through a love of nature with a thread of family heritage mixed in.

I’m primarily a painter, although I pursue creativity from many outlets including photography and drawing. My painting style can range from minimal abstract compositions to expressionistic bursts of color and form. What unites these different styles and what I like to explore is texture, the interaction of colors and visual storytelling on a wordless canvas. My minimalist paintings are slowly built up over 5 to 10 layers of paint in contrast to the expressionistic paintings that are completed in one session. Color tonality, the push and pull of complimentary colors and the challenge of mixing up a paint color to match a flower petal or leaf I found on a walk are pure enjoyment for me as well as creating art that captures a moment or emotion to the viewer.

I primarily work with painting knives and acrylic paint on canvas or panel. What appeals to me in working with painting knives is how I can achieve texture and thickness while also working fast and intuitively to keep the composition loose and expressive.

“Floral Abstractions”

When the Coronavirus brought our normal world to a halt, I started sketching the flowers in my neighborhood park during my daily exercise walks. Through this daily practice, I observed the changes over time from the burst of vibrant orange California poppy bloom to the dense and varied shapes and colorations of the roses. This collection of observations provided the inspiration for my latest paintings, “Floral Abstractions”. I focused on the colors and gestural movements of California Poppies, Roses and even the Monterey Pine Trees that tower over the flowers in the park.