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Barbara was born and lived most of her life in Michigan but for many years she had known that her heart was in Arizona. Circumstances permitted Barbara and her husband to move there in 2000. In Michigan, besides having her work in several galleries, she participated in many art fairs and her artwork was in many juried exhibits including one at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

“As far back as I can remember, I have understood composition and the principles of art. Meeting artist/teacher, Ruth Janes, was a major turning point in my life. While I had always drawn and painted, she was instrumental in helping me focus and develop this desire through technical means. However, her greatest gift to me was opening my eyes to the spiritual in art, the deeper meaning.”

This is when Barbara also started working abstractly. At the time she made extensive color charts of all her acrylic colors mixed with each other in three steps. She also mixed them with their complements to create grays and blacks which has resulted in her never using black for a dark as she can get much more lively darks using complements.

Some of her paintings emerge with no prior idea or theme. As soon as paint is applied, the process tells her what to do next. At some point in this process she becomes aware of a deeper meaning and keeps this in mind as she continues. Whether figurative or abstract, color and design are most important to her.

She feels shapes and lines are energies made visible, flowing through space, at times forming recognizable objects, other times, non-objective. Subjects such as abstracted figures or stones come into being from this pure abstraction. She uses the circle as a symbol for The All: complete, whole, peace, the still-point, a stopping place which draws one into other dimensions. They are powerful and energizing in their stillness. She creates a tension that flows back and forth between circle and line, shape and color.

Louise MacDonald, art reviewer, says: “In abstract art, real objects are interpreted by shapes, lines and colors; in abstract expressionism, like Barbara Ragalyi’s work, the artist’s personal emotion affects those elements, as in the art of Jackson Pollock, Wilhelm de Kooning and Robert Motherwell.”

One of Barbara’s colleagues says of her art “it touches on the powerful, universal energy that connects a person to spirit”. Her work is spiritual and centering, told with simplicity, expressing in color and composition what cannot be spoken with words. It embodies the music, harmony, and mystery of the Universe, the underlying energy of our world, the music of being within all things, creating a peaceful, harmonious space wherein one can experience silence, still-point, and oneness with all.