Artist Bio

Born in Boston, brought up in Tennessee, Barbara moved to Western Massachusetts while earning a degree in Music and Art Therapy at the University in Amherst. During that time Barbara launched a career as a jazz vocalist and later established a hair salon in downtown Northampton

Her interest in portrait painting began over ten years ago when a close friend encouraged her to study with Ted Nuttall a renowned watercolor and portrait painter, with whom she continues to study regularly.

In the Spring of 2021, Barbara had paintings accepted into a juried exhibition at the Northampton Senior Center. With a body of work that continues to expand, Barbara hopes to exhibit regularly in the future.

Artist Statement

When I visit my ancestral home in Canada there is a saying on Canadian license plates “Je me Souviens”. It translates to “I remember”. That saying explains why I paint portraits, to remember, to keep a record.

I’ve always had a passion for faces. As an artist I am intrigued with each face. A signature unique and mysterious with it’s un-ending combinations of eyes, nose, mouth, hair. In museums it is the portraits the face, that I always gravitate to, that memorable, tangible part of who we are, nature and nurture, captured in paint at a moment in time.

Watercolor is my medium because I am intrigued with its fluidity and translucent and transient nature. Recording a look, a moment in watercolor becomes both a challenge and a meditation for me.

My favorite aspect of painting a portrait is watching the face, especially the eyes emerge slowly as brush and watercolor sink into the paper. How can I translate this moment in paint? What shapes and colors to use to tell the story I observe in a look, a feeling to be retold in this painting?

So it is the visible, instantly recognizable part of ourselves, that I am inspired to paint. I find an intimacy, a connection, a fondness towards my subject grow, as the painting evolves. A portrait is a memorial to a life within a moment in time.–