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Monday, March 29, 2021



 Copyright © 1995 Nancy Barra, "Interruption",oil on canvas 28"x22"from:Nancy Barra Contemporary Art/Arte Contemporáneo

She was convinced that for a long time only a handful of people have controlled our lives through political, financial, social and cultural institutions. She thought that for this elite, the word Honesty has lost its original meaning.

What is the meaning of Honesty

Copyright © 1927 Norman Rockwell, "The law student", 23.7 x 32.5, Lithograph

The word Honesty is derived from the Latin word honos, which means a public award to people who is “believed or supposed to be righteous and decent to perform a public duty”. In Latin the honestis were those people who were given the honoris (honor) by the people to become public servants. The honestis would be the formal equivalency of the "politicians" in our modern world. However many who we initially supposed to be"good public servants” have not always been true to this praise and honor.

Copyright © 1938 Edward Hopper, "Woman in compartment C car reading a book", oil on canvas, 16 X 20.

There is a more profound and rich meaning of Honesty in Latin that uses not one but several words to define it: decus and decorus (decency and respect), probus (to be honest), virtus (virtue and bravery), integere (integrity) and pietas (love and respect for humanity). Under this comprehensive definition of Honesty, many politicians and heads or international agencies, corporations and financial institutions would unfortunately be left out, or dishonoris (dishonored).

Copyright © 19th century, Angus Mc Bride in "British History". Title: "Radical politics in 19th century Britain", illustration on paper.

People have become disillusioned by many politicians for lack of their consistency, which also reveals their lack of Honesty. Many use a discourse full of concepts like equality, justice, diversity and environmental concerns but they drive fancy cars, live in mega mansions, fly personal jet planes, and like to be profiled in vanity magazines wearing exclusive designer clothes. Most of these leaders' closest friends are not disenfranchised working class folks, except as potential voters, of course.

Copyright © 2019 Bansky "Devolved Parliament", Mural 13 foot long, 98.4" x 165.3"

People are upset with leaders and institutions worldwide for their lack of Honesty. These so called "leaders" do not understand that their promising words have to match their actions. People demand for them to be consistent in their daily life along with the ethical and practical requirements of the word Honesty. 

Copyright © 1798 Library of Congress, Author: anonymous. Lithograph "The Congressional Pugilist", Philadelphia, Pensylvania.

She knew that she was not saying anything new. However, she thought that it would be a great idea to teach Latin to children in schools, so that they, as the next generation, can reclaim the precise meaning of important words like Honesty and its implications in anything they do. 

Copyright ©2021 Nancy Barra, "Reading by the sea", 16" x 12.5", pastel over watercolor on Aquarelle Arches paper,
from:Nancy Barra Contemporary Art/Arte Contemporáneo  

For now, she said that it was necessary to remember the essential meaning of what it means to be honest, so we all understand the honor of taking the responsibility to become a public servant as well as a decent human being... in saecula seculorum (forever and ever). Amen


Copyright © 1508  Albrecht Durer, "Praying hands", 8" x 12", pen and ink on blueish paper.

Thursday, April 16, 2020


Copyright @ 2019 Nancy Barra, "Contemplation", oil on canvas, 27.6" x 19.7, from: Nancy Barra Contemporary Art/Arte Contemporáneo.

When we reject what is socially accepted 
but do not know which way to go...

When we do not see our path in life very clear....

When fear of making a mistake prevents us 
from making decisions....

When we feel powerless and controlled...

When we feel isolated and confused...

When we wonder about death...

Then, we are facing uncertainty.

Copyright @ 2004  Tetsuya Ishida,"Lost Child"8.7" x 10.8" in acrylic and oil on canvas

In our modern world we are trained to minimize uncertainty by using our rational mind. We are taught that we are in charge of our destiny and as such, we are responsible for the outcomes of our actions. 

However, every time the unexpected happens, preventing our expected results, we experience disappointment, anguish, sadness and sense of failure. What did I do wrong? Why did this have to happen to me? What could I have done to avoid it?

Copyright @ 2003 Nancy Barra, "Reflection on the rocks",  photograph,
 Andrew´s Point, Rockport, Massachusetts. 

The problem is that the unexpected happens all the time throughout our life and we are not trained to deal with it. 

Uncertainty is an essential component of the human life experience. Our rational mind tricks us to think that we can have control of our plans, which in essence is a temporary illusion.

Copyright @ 2016 Lamont County-Alberta, Canada, "Storm coming", photograph.

Now, as a planet, we are living one of these times, where social isolation, uncertainty plus disinformation seems to be the norm. 

Copyright @ Hopper, "At Eleven AM", Oil on canvas

The rational approach to this situation seems chaotic, contradictory and useless when you lose control of your daily routine. 

Copyright © 2017 Pintrest "Stress Paintings"

The forced social isolation  invites us to use our intuition, gut feelings, adaptation skills, humor, fantasy and imagination in order for us to understand and deal with the uncertainty we are living.

Copyright @ 2020 Annonymous, Whatsap, "Quarantine Creative Photography".

This experience has been a well deserved rest and healing for our contaminated Mother Earth. The Himalayas and Los Andes, hidden by air pollution, can now be seen clearly in all their majestic beauty in Punjab, India and Santiago, Chile, respectively.

          Punjab, India, 2020, "Himalayans reveal in quarantine time"

Santiago, Chile, 2020, "Mountain View without pollution during quarantine".

Do people think that being forced to be with our families has romantically strengthened the quality of their interactions? I am not so sure about this since we now spend more time on the Internet and plugged to our cellular phones looking for answers. Uncertainty demands more contact, information and reassurance among people in isolation.

Copyright © 2014 Bansky, in:"Banksy’s New Mural Mocks Smart Phone Distracted Lovers" from

However, maybe this situation of uncertainty is also an invitation to learn how to be with ourselves. To learn to be alone without feeling inadequate and lonely. Of course, this is valid only if everybody has the basic means for economic survival and, you or your loved ones are not seriously ill.

Copyright @ 2020 Kristina Varaksina , "House husband", Photography

Copyright @ 2009 Nancy Barra, "Anticipation" Oil on canvas,
22" x 28", from: Nancy Barra Contemporary Art/Arte Contemporáneo

I have the feeling that this long social isolation and uncertainty -never experienced before in our planet- cannot be dealt just with the rational approach but is inviting a new perspective that involves our instinct, imagination and emotions so we can face and process the imminent transition to a new era. 

Copyright @ 2010, Nancy Barra, "Gancho Coto", pastel on paper, 18" x 14"

I do not know how this new era could be, but I can envision it as something much better than yesterday. That is my prerogative. I can dream and create in my heart the vision of a new society, where laughter, generosity, compassion and creativity are the norm. And why not? I do not know how this new era can come about but I am sure that my vision makes me joyful and detached from fear.

Copyright © 2015 from:

In the end, we might be disappointed with the results, but we will be grateful for learning to appreciate the positive side of uncertainty. It teaches us to be humble, vulnerable and in solidarity with others spiritually, as we feel connected at a planetary level through our own human fragility.

Uncertainty has also triggered our potential to dream better solutions, to discern well intended people from the negative and manipulative ones both in governments and corporations, and it has forced us to think more critically despite the controlled mass media.

The portrait of Matt Cain, painted by Canadian Andrew Salgado

Uncertainty teaches us a lesson that all already knew but tend to forget in our planned oriented existence: "Everything in life has a silver lining".

Dedicated to 
the quarantine dreamers 2020 of the world

Wednesday, December 4, 2019


Copyright @ 2009 Nancy Barra,"Remembering", Oil on canvas 30" x 24", from:Nancy Barra Contemporary Art/Arte Contemporáneo.

She has remained silent for quite some time. She thought she did not have any important ideas to share with others. 

She already shared her concerns about imminent environmental problems. She expressed the irrationality of wars under the pretext of defending human rights of foreign nations, when in fact, the invaders aimed to control sovereign oil production while trying to suffocate resistance. She also reflected about how material consumerism is bewitching all of us at the expense of a poorly paid foreign labor force and damage to natural resources.

Copyright @ 2009 Nancy Barra,"A Grain of Sand", oil on canvas, 19.5" x19.5", from:Nancy Barra Contemporary Art/Arte Contemporáneo.

She felt like an inconsequential grain of sand in the vast ocean, except for sharing, once in a while, some of her thoughts, paintings and photographs with other dreamers. Now, she thought: "I do not have anything of value to say anymore".

This feeling made her sad... until the people of Chile began one of the most decisive mass movements witnessed in a long time in South America. 

Copyright @ 2019, Anonymous, "March in Chile" 

A mass movement against the conditions created by an economic model that diminished the government's role in public services and encouraged their privatization.  

Education, health, retirement plans, water, electricity, mines, forests and even agricultural seeds were commodities increasingly transferred to private owners and foreign investors. This model characterized Chile as one of the most economically successful countries of South America.

Copyright @ 2019, View of Financial District,Santiago, Chile, from:

This new Chilean economy began to offer credit cards like Halloween candy to everyone with a job. People were so excited that they forgot to read the fine print on their credit card statements and sooner that later, they became a mass of credit cards defaulters strangled by increasing interest rates and stagnant salaries.

Copyright @ 2019, Nancy Barra, "The Defaulter", watercolor on paper and ink, 12"x9", from: Nancy Barra Contemporary Art/Arte Contemporáneo.

This time, she understood that all the themes she has reflected on in this blog, should have been specifically directed to the elite who hold the economic and political power on this planet. They are the ones who need to understand the seriousness of the plight of the people for the survival of all of us. 

Copyright © 2010, Nancy Barra, "Epiphany", Pastel on paper, 18"x14", from: Nancy Barra Contemporary Art/Arte Contemporáneo.

However,  she asked herself:

"Do they really care? Are they sincerely concerned about the causes of this revolt? Do they think about the consequences of their lack of concern for this mass movement in Chile and everywhere?" 

The problem is this, she thought: 

"If they are not willing to share part of their profits for the greater goodness of humanity, they and their descendants will in the end also suffer along with everyone else. They do not seem to understand this basic fact. When the environmental disaster settles in, their bunkers deep in the Earth will not guarantee their survival."

Copyright © 2010 from:

She continued: "Besides, the environmental living conditions on Mars are not yet favorable for their survival, without counting the travel technology to get there." 

Copyright @ 2019 from;

She said convincingly: 

"Therefore, they better think about it, open their hearts, use their intelligence and join this present movement for justice, equality and respect for every human being and for our planet. Otherwise, no one, including them and their families, will be able to survive."

Then, she stood at the top of the cliff with her kite and said: 

Copyright © 2018 Nancy Barra,"Fearless Dreamer",Pastel over watercolor on Arches paper, 11.2"x8", from:Nancy Barra Contemporary Art/Arte Contemporáneo.   

"C' mom, holders of power in this planet!  Let´s join all the people who are suffering right now and who defiantly decided to create a better future on this Earth for all of us, including you, your families and descendants!"    


                               Dedicated to all the children 
                                    of today and tomorrow

Monday, May 13, 2019


 Nancy Barra, "Dreaming", Egg tempera on wood, 9" x 12", from:Nancy Barra Contemporary Art/Arte Contemporáneo

"To think that I have spent so much energy in defining my identity, solidifying my self-esteem and collecting achievements to just reach the simple conclusion that I have been seeking to satisfy my ego!", she reflected that day by the ocean.

                                         What is ego

"Is it defining ourselves in terms 
of self-importance as defined by societal standards?" 
she asked herself.

"And how much time do we spend defining and defending our ego? Perhaps our entire life," she asked, remembering her mother when she looked up at the sky searching for answers.

Nancy Barra, "Julia in the sky," Pastel, 12" x 9,  from:Nancy Barra Contemporary Art/Arte Contemporáneo

"We have that intrinsic need to feel important, valued, respected and admired, which has been the primordial cause of our anguish, pain and fear. It explains why many of our leaders throughout the history of human civilization have initiated wars, killed people, conquered new territories, controlled resources and manipulated the masses," she continued reflecting.

Copyright © 2017, "The Five Most Important Battles of the Ancient Greek Wars", from

"Our ego is linked to the definition of what we are in our societies. This definition -in a broad sense- commonly includes: our gender, sexual preferences, race, physical appearance, religion, occupation or activity, level of formal education, income and/or material resources, and social background of the family/community we belong to", she reasoned.

"For example, concerning gender, women have been historically relegated after men, because our activity has been defined primordially by our capacity to procreate and raise our children, which is, by the way, the most important activity of all", she concluded.

Nancy Barra, "La Pachamama", acrylic on canvas, 16" x 12" from: Nancy BarraContemporary Art/Arte Contemporáneo.

"It has been so difficult for me to just define myself as a temporary being on this planet and be happy about it!"

"I have struggled to understand that I am a minuscule spark of energy in an infinite cosmos! Very insignificant and magical at the same time." 

Nancy Barra, Photography: "Message to the world" Andrews' Point, Massachusetts.

"It has also been a struggle for me to be sincerely humble and recognize that it is a miracle that I am alive and that, one unexpected day, I will stop being, like it will eventually happen to all of us. Have you thought about it?", she asked looking at an imaginary audience.

 Nancy Barra, "Interrupted"Oil on canvas 28" x 22, from:Nancy BarraContemporary Art/Arte Contemporáneo 

"The origin of life and its end is the only thing that matters because it helps me to feel in unity with others, insofar as we share a journey in between with the same beginning and end". 

"Birth and death are the only two equalizers for all mankind, independently of the, I-ego", she said to herself.

                                     First cry....

Copyright  © 2017 Clinica, Guía de Supervivencia para Madres Primerizas Internacional: Recibiendo al recién nacido.


                                       ... And...

Copyright © 1890 Van Goh,"Sorrowing Man ("At Eternity´s Gate) in  

"How have I wasted my time trying to define myself and even letting others to define my worth with such a list of unending criteria and requirements? This has only helped me to separate myself from others and not realize what intrinsically unites us all. I let myself be deceived by appearances. I was wrong," she reflected, looking at the waves. 

 Nancy Barra "Reflexionando en Azul", Photography, Andrew´s Point, Massachusetts

Leaning on a table, she said:"Years have passed. However, it is not too late. I still have time to live the rest of my life being thankful and humble." 

Nancy Barra, "Ancient Wisdom" Pastel over Watercolor on paper, 16" X 12", from:Nancy BarraContemporary Art/Arte Contemporáneo 

"Thankful enough to enjoy the beauty of nature and the gestures of generosity and creativity of many people in this world." 

"Humble enough to realize the insignificance of the "I" and the importance of the "we", she finally concluded.