Artist member since 2020
Burlington , Ontario
Barbara Reade lives and paints close to the shoreline of Lake Ontario in Burlington, Ontario, Canada. At the heart of Barbara’s work is the endless inspiration that drives her to capture the emotional impact of the natural and urban landscape. Memories of places and experiences reveal themselves through abstraction, colour, mark-making and recurring themes in her artwork. Precise, directional lines intermingle with softer, free-flowing applications of paint, evoking order over chaos, architectural details merging into wildness, opacity next to translucent washes of colour. Barbara’s paintings undergo several transformations along the way, with numerous layers of paint, graphite and wax crayon creating a rich history on the surface. Layers are sanded away to create surprising textures and reveal the underpainting beneath.
Barbara’s artistic career has come full circle after many rewarding years in education and as a retail business owner. She drew constantly as a child, going on to pursue her passion for art by completing her BFA in Illustration at Parsons School of Design in New York City. Barbara continues to hone her skills and develop as an artist, most recently completing Nicholas Wilton’s intensive Art2Life Creative Visionary Program, and currently as an active member of the Art2Life Academy. Barbara is also a member of the Burlington Fine Arts Association.
What do you listen to when you work?
I'm a pushover for movie soundtracks. My current rotating playlist includes music from Inception, The Hours, Harold and Maude, Reality Bites, and La La Land.
Describe your home in 3 words
Colour-saturated. Eclectic. Sanctuary.
The Stand by Stephen King. I first read this epic novel when I was a teenager. I've reread it more times than I can count, and every time I do, I discover something different. It's not that The Stand is the greatest piece of literature that I've ever read, but it's the book that's been with me the longest, through good times and bad.
Why is it important for people to have art in their home or life?
Art is infused with all the qualities that make us human. When you live with original art, it evolves as you evolve. What you once saw in a piece that first inspired you to purchase it, changes as you change. I look at all the artwork that we've purchased over the years, and marvel at how fresh and relevant each piece remains. There is a story embedded in every painting that needs to be told, even if it's just to one person.
I'm really good at making (a) ...
I'm really good at making my small studio space at home work beautifully. I can turn a kitchen floor into a launch pad for a large series.
This is always a toss-up! Movies I return to again and again are Almost Famous and every Christmas movie that ever was or ever will be.
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