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About the artist
Barb started palette knife oil painting at the age of nine and took classes every spring and summer break until she was 17. She was taught how to copy, but not how to create.
Her creativity tried to break out, but she was too afraid of rejection. This uncertainty was the reason she never went to art school. Instead, she decided to start a family, and put art school on hold until her children were grown. She kept her promise to herself and 34 years later, with her youngest being independent, it was time for a career in art.
Throughout her 20s, Barb kept up with her art, expanding into acrylics and earning extra money by painting murals, Christmas windows, sewing, and selling products for a needlepoint company. Images from calendars found their way on to her walls and cupboard doors and she did everything she could to pursue art; needlepoint, quilting, painting, and drawing. But it was all still copying.
It wasn’t until Barb was almost 30 that, with the help of a friend, she painted her bedroom a bold teal, and adding dark purple curtains and a log cabin quilt in the same colours. That day changed everything. The rooms in Barb’s home now became a playground of colour.
Barb started working with a sculpture symposium to learn about sculpting and bronzing in the early 2000's. She was introduced to a diverse group of artists who provided insight into art and business.
She took up writing in her early 40s as another creative outlet and still works on developing screenplays. Today, Barb’s desire to create is alive and well. It is the impetus behind her and her husband designing and building a house. Her own original work now graces its walls.
A friend, who owned a framing shop, once told Barb it was better to spend $200 on an original from a local artist than a well-known and weary commercial print. When decorating the new home, Barb’s interior designer was frustrated that she didn’t buy prints jut because they matched the colours in her home. One of the first paintings Barb and her husband bought was Change by Julia Trops. Barb saw a sign at Julia’s studio that said, “Looking for models for a life drawing group. Willing to train.” She signed up and modelled for almost eight years. Artists have a wonderful appreciation of the human body and are not afraid to tell you how wonderful your body is. Barb believes that anyone feeling insecure about their shape should model nude to rediscover their beauty. She also believes we are much more than our bodies.
In 2014 Barb felt creative boredom creeping in. She decided to explore new techniques and art products. She attended artist presentations at a local art supply store and watched art-related videos. In the process, she discovered alcohol inks.
The vibrancy and energy of the new inks were amazing to Barb and she felt almost giddy with excitement! Barb let the ink and the paper dictate what she should do next. Like Mother Nature, she would add some movement to the paper or blow the inks around, but always let the colours have a mind of their own. In the world of alcohol inks, every colour combination works and looks beautiful. Painting is playing. Colour is invigorating, energetic and lively. Every colour in the rainbow has a place in life and that diversity presents beautifully, and without planning, with alcohol inks.
Barb’s art reflects her life. She spent years trying to control things and once she let go of the illusion of control, her health, her family life, and her art, improved. Painting with inks reinforces that understanding for Barb, who believes we all need to experience contrast in our own lives.
Barb has found her creativity and is proud of the pieces she produces. You’ll find them throughout her home in all sizes from 4”x 4” originals to 18” x 60”polyptych prints. And while you can find them on display in art galleries and retail outlets, the best way to find the one that’s right for you is through this website.
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