Barbara Callow, AFCA Biography
Barbara Callow, AFCA, is a Canadian painter drawing her inspiration from the special light, scenery and ocean environment unique to Vancouver Island. Impressed at an early age by the work of the French, European and North American impressionists, including The Group of Seven and Emily Carr, her creative work has followed an evolution from delicate watercolour florals, through landscapes and into the more immediate and life giving medium of oils. Barbara’s Still Life paintings in the style of the European Masters have become collectors’ items with paintings sold across North America, the UK and France and representation through several Canadian Galleries. Engaging in the practice of “en plein air” (from life), has further developed her eye, allowing her to spontaneously capture the scene, the light and the senses before the moment can change. “En plein air” and studio work in oils and watercolours are her current, primary focus.
Barbara’s interest in art started while still at school and her formal art education began in 1975 at the University of Victoria. A diploma in fine arts at Langara College and later courses in graphic design were to follow, accompanied by workshops and masterclasses by such notable teachers as Caren Heine, Marney Ward, Deborah Tilby, Elizabeth Kincaid, Mark Heine, Catherine Moffat, and Keith Hiscock. Today Barbara is a full-time artist working on both commissioned and exhibition pieces, as well as teaching and book illustration.
In March 2012, Barbara received her AFCA signature status from the Federation of Canadian Artists after holding Active Status that she earned in October 2004, then acted as the Programs Chair from 2005 until 2010. Involved in arts administration for over a decade with various groups, in 2008 she was invited to join the Victoria sketch club and this same year began to pass on her knowledge and engage as a guest demonstrator in visual arts/painting.
Barbara continues to participate regularly in Juried Shows, receiving consistent recognition and awards for over a decade. Her works can be found in several galleries including The Federation Gallery, The Butchart Gardens Summer Gallery, The Gallery in the Oak Bay Village Coast Collective Art Gallery, Comox Valley Art Gallery Gift Shop and formerly in the Brentwood Bay and Horsefeathers Market Art Gallery.
A published artist in Focus Magazine, the Peninsula News Review, Art Avenue and the Comox Valley Record, Barbara’s painting received further recognition when, “White Azalea”, and later Sea Grasses were used as the advertising and poster pieces for the Federation of Canadian Artist’s 2007 Spring Juried Exhibition.
Continuing to engage with the community around her, Barbara paints weekly with the Alfresco Outdoor Painting Group and enjoys spending special time with family and friends, including her young grandsons.