Biography & Artist’s Statement
Barbara Clarke was raised in London, Ontario, a city that encourages the visual arts, and is known for its regional artists. In this environment, Barbara learned to draw in pencil and charcoal, and paint in oils. It was later, while living in the Waterloo area, that she was introduced to watercolour painting.
After settling in Mississauga, Barbara studied visual arts at Sheridan College. It was there that artist-teacher, Gery Puley, became influential in developing Barbara’s knowledge and enthusiasm for watercolour painting. That medium continues to be an important focus of her art.
Through workshops with local art groups, Barbara has been exploring the possibilities of acrylic paints. She is using this versatile medium more in her art, while still enjoying the wonder of watercolour. Some favourite instructors are Brian Atyeo, Steve Rose, David McEown. Other studies have included colour theory and design principles at Ontario College of Art and Design.
Barbara is a member of Central Ontario Art Association, Mississauga Arts Council, Visual Arts Mississauga, Neilson Part Creative Centre in Etobicoke, and the Clarkson Society of Artists. She has been an active volunteer in several of these art organizations.
Barbara has participated in numerous local and regional visual art shows. Awards have been won. Commissions have been completed. She was a finalist in the MARTY Award for established artist of the year in Mississauga. Her paintings can be found in homes throughout Greater Toronto Area and in other provinces, as well as Europe.
From straight lines and angles to free-flowing marks and curves, I divide my art between the geometric shapes of buildings and the organic shapes of nature.
Using watercolour or acrylic paints, I interpret a moment in time, a fleeting glance of light over the forms of landscape and architecture. My challenge is to capture these effects on the natural and man-made worlds in a realistic style.
My art is a snapshot of landscapes at a point in time. I like scenes of the common place that are often overlooked in a busy world. As well, I paint scenes that include old buildings, especially those structures that show character craftsmanship, and history.
Sometimes I explore a particular theme and do a series of paintings. For example, there are nine paintings of buildings in St. John’s Newfoundland. I completed ten paintings of iconic Venice. In landscapes, I finished seven works of art, called “Maple Grove”.
As an artist, I see my surroundings as a constant flow of impressions which lead to inspiration and imagination. The result is a realistic or abstract interpretation of the images of my experience.