Since childhood Barbara James enjoyed creativity and found drawing and painting to be the best means to express her artistry. The ability to see and perceive all that this world has to offer through an artist’s eye has been the lifeblood of her artful journey.
Having been raised in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ, a love of the ocean and beach were deeply embedded in her. In addition, Barbara was greatly influenced by her grandfather’s appreciation of nature and has learned to find beauty in all creation, even in those things that might be perceived to some as undesirable.
She has a degree in Fine Art from Glassboro State College, NJ (now Rown University) and studied drawing, oil painting and watercolor privately with the late Earl Tyler a former Ducret School of Art professor. While in college, Barbara participated in the Blai Experience where she learned sculpture from Boris Blai in his home studio. This opportunity to study with a master increased her understanding of form and is now carried into her mixed media body of work where sculptural elements give it dimension.
Barbara made a significant shift from painting realistically in watercolors and acrylics to what she calls Abstract Sculptural Mixed Media. She portrays a feeling or a concept using a combination of different elements to execute each piece. Depending on what the composition needs to fulfill the vision she has for the canvas, materials may be chosen such as cotton sheeting or even cheese cloth. Materials might speak to her like bark or tree fungi, at a spiritual level. The process has been very deeply satisfying as her hands are the tools for forming the sculptural elements and then the work comes to life with her painting skills.
Barbara is self employed as a full time artist. She does presentations for organizations on her process and teaches drawing, watercolor and acrylic painting in her home studio. She is a member of the Mt. Gretna Art Gallery, Mt. Gretna, PA, part of the Lebanon Valley Art Studio Tour, participates in several outdoor art festivals each year including the Lititz Fine Art Show and has had two one person shows featuring her mixed media work. Most recently she had a piece chosen in the Art of Troeg’s competition to hang in Troeg’s Brewery Gallery, Hershey, PA.