- Full Name
ARTIST BIO-Barbara Baxter Part of the fun of making art, for me, is exploring new experiences and techniques—taking risks, challenging myself, and playing in a space where I don’t always know exactly what’s going to happen My name is Barbara Baxter. I have lived my whole life in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, USA, heart of the Amish Country, also called the “Garden Spot of America” because of the fertile soil. I was a late bloomer. I wanted to paint watercolors forever, but something always got in the way. I was a first-grade teacher for 25 years and finally got started painting watercolors at age 64 after I retired. A Watercolor Workshop trip to Italy got me motivated. After the trip, I searched out a local Art Association and started taking lessons. I took several classes over a few years, and then began doing my own thing. I don’t have my own style- I love to try everything. My least favorite subject Is buildings. I will try almost any other subject at least once. I taught myself to draw by practice, but often start a flower painting without drawing. Blue Hydrangea and Beagle painting were done without drawing. On more detailed paintings, I draw first. I’m not a businessperson, so I don’t sell much. I have done shows but have sold most of my work to friends or give it away as gifts. I do turn many of my paintings into greeting cards which sell very well. Two years ago I moved into a retirement community. Imagine my surprise last September when I was asked to paint the community Christmas Card. The marketing department then had them printed up and the proceeds went to our benevolent fund. They had to do a second printing because they sold so fast. What an honor. The horse and buggy picture they asked me to paint was from a resident’s photo. What an honor! I often start painting without drawing. Works best with flowers but have done some animals this way. I always could draw but practiced until I became much better. I attend a sketch club where we do whatever we want and critique one another’s work. I’ve proposed beginning a “Come Paint with Me” club where we sit and paint (watercolor) and I don’t teach but help wherever I can. Autumn leaves done without drawing on professional art panel. My brushes are sm., med. and large round, ½ “flat and several liners. I’ve been playing with dagger brushes lately. I mainly use Daniel Smith professional watercolor paint. I use Arches 300lb blocks, Yupo, and have recently been playing with some new surfaces such as Crescent watercolor board, Professional Art Panels and Wood Panels/Cradle board (where I adhere a watercolor painting to the wood). None of these new surfaces require frames. My current project is a calendar with each month showing an outside scene from the beautiful grounds of the retirement community. I’m going to use the December page for my Christmas card. Today’s painting of my Thanksgiving Cactus. I drew the kettle then just painted in the leaves & flowers without drawing. So, I paint on, try to paint some each day, trying different styles, whatever I'm in the mood to paint! Life is good!