Barbara has been painting professionally since graduating from the Ontario College of Art, Toronto, in the early 70ʼs.
Having grown up on a farm near London, Ontario, she has a great love of the outdoors, being surrounded by farm animals, pasture and woodlands, gave her a deep connection to land and sky. Her first greatest influence was Andrew Wyeth. His landscapes were so much like home to her, she saw his paintings everywhere she looked.
Although she wanted to study architecture, her natural skills at drawing at an early age coupled with a lack of interest in math, made it fairly apparent Art School was where she belonged. In hindsight, Illustration was her forte, and she wishes she had chosen Commercial Art. Having a great love of drawing, she chose Painting and Drawing and hence began the struggle to be a realist in a world besotted by the Abstract.
For a realist painter, going against the grain to study realism in school, where everything was supposed to be stripes, dots, hard-edged shapes, etc., the Impressionists became who she wanted to emulate, because at least they were more modern realists!
And simply because of the joy and happiness their paintings evoked. Theirs was a real Celebration of Life, portraying all levels of Society. Perhaps that is why their paintings speak to so many people and during those school years, that is how she wanted to paint.
Having lived in several towns and cities, Montreal suits her spirit. Presently, she lives in Hudson, Quebec, a small village picturesquely situated on the banks of the Ottawa River, just 25 miles from Montreal. An area of much beauty and character, still surrounded by small farms and villages.
Many subjects continue to capture her interest and painting outdoors whenever possible. In fact, she didn’t have a studio for a long time, but carried a board, paper and watercolours to locations. In the last few years,Barbara has focused on more figurative and portrait work, with particular attention to First Nation peoples at their Pow Wows. Their costuming and dances are extremely beautiful. She has sincere concern for the welfare of these unique people.