I am a multimedia artist. I’ve never really settled on one particular style. I love to dabble in a little bit of everything: watercolours and acrylics, leather painting, sewing, photography as well as soap-stone and wood carving, among other things. The variety keeps me occupied and I don’t get tired of any medium when I create in this way.
I’m a self-taught artist. I’ve always been inspired by art in general. As a young person, making art was my escape. It was my world; nobody could touch me there. Now, if I get stressed from work or other things, I can go within through my art. To this day, my creative practice is a very important and sacred time for me.
When I start a project, I sketch my ideas on my iPad. I also love to go out for a day to take photographs that will serve as my inspiration. Sometimes, there’s just an image in my mind that I can work with, depending on my mood and the medium I am using. When I make garments as special orders, I use traditional hide. If it’s not available, I will use the best quality hide I can find. I will also incorporate fox, beaver, wolf, or seal fur in my designs. I try to incorporate elements of nature in my art because I’ve always had a strong love for it.
My art practice has evolved over the years because I am always improving my techniques. I appreciate that there is always something to learn. I think that that is the main reason why I like to work with different types of art forms. Depending on how you feel, whether it’s a harder day or not, it’s a way of expressing emotions without having to say anything.
My art represents my heritage and how I like to live now. I lived in the city for years, but my heart was always in the country. Now I am very happy being closer to nature and wildlife. It makes me feel good. I am of Ojibway, Irish and English descent. I didn’t know about my Indigenous ancestry until later in life. It has made me look at things differently, and it has especially left me wanting to know more. Ultimately, it opened my eyes to a whole different world.
I like to see people’s faces when they like my work. That brings me joy. When I finish a piece, I feel accomplished. Making art makes me feel good inside. It makes me feel good about myself and confident in my abilities.
Barbara was born in Ontario and grew up in Nova Scotia. She now lives in Enterprise. Growing up surrounded by the country, Barbara developed a strong love for nature. She learned how to sew in fashion school in Montreal, while painting remained her way of escaping life’s stressors. Early on, Barbara knew she wanted to retire in the North, which she did. Barbara’s artwork is available for purchase online. She accepts custom orders for beading, garments, watercolours and acrylics.