Barbara is a founder member of the website for amateur artists around the world, www.localartist.org.uk. The site was designed and formatted by Leon Le Blanc in January, 2005 and has become a successful business in that it fulfils the purpose for which it was created. Together, the two of them, using separate skills, provide quality virtual gallery space free of charge for a growing number of talented artists. They would often have no other means of showcasing their artwork, leaving it undiscovered in private collections or exhibited in local halls and libraries, undiscovered by and unavailable to the rest of the world.
Barbara has been instrumental in encouraging, helping and inviting amateur and professional artists to create a variety of galleries including painting in different media, photography, digital art and illustration. Artists who produce three-dimensional pieces have also been encouraged to exhibit. Many artists have to cope with a lack of good images to display on a gallery. Because of their far-flung locations it is not possible to offer help in that direction.
There is a lot of satisfaction to be gained in the viewing of new art by unknown artists. Sharing that with others is even better. Barbara is pleased that so many wish to use the service and that the artists keep in regular contact with her with their latest works and news of their frustrations as well as their successes. She is willing to help wherever possible if only with a timely word of empathy.
The influences on her work are many but her favourites are the Old Masters, particularly Turner and the Impressionists, Monet, Matisse, Manet, Renoir, and Bertha Morissot, Their use of light is the main source of influence and the new range of colours of the time, involving shades of purple for shadows and the use of complimentary colours for effect, used for centuries.
Barbara is able to make good use of a variety of media, oils, watercolours, pastelles, mixed media and acrylics. She likes to experiment with different methods, for example, cutting and shaping paintings to create an effect peculiar to the subject. (See Prague Window on Barbara's Gallery). The use of printing by pressing shapes into acrylic paints and imprinting them onto a watercolour background. (See Autumn Landscape); and scraping through oil pastelle to reveal acrylic beneath. (See Deep Sea Fish).
Her watercolours are sometimes brought to a finish with the use of pastelle, soft or oil, as she believes that intensity is important even in watercolour, so a delicate aquarelle is occasionally transformed by the addition of an exotic or dramatically rich palette.
At the moment, Acrylics are taking Barbara's attention, as she aims at perfecting the use of glazes, both clear and tinted. Their versatility is being investigated, along with their limitations and she hopes to produce more work with her own seal of approval suitable for exhibition on her gallery.
Exhibiting physically and locally has had to be curtailed due to a back problem. The website has provided a reasonable alternative to local shows, providing great interest for someone whose art is tremendously important to her. Also of great importance is the work of other artists, particularly amateurs. The amount of time taken up by the running of www.localartist.org.uk is put into perspective by the satisfaction of helping artists to create their own galleries and display their artwork. The editing and writing of articles gives Barbara endless pleasure and she is happy to receive biographies and feature articles to provide interest to the visitors to the site.
This particular artist hopes to continue producing good quality works and adding to the experience available to all of us involved in art - learning and improving while passing on our experiences and talents via our chosen medium.
The whole world is our platform and our viewing audience. We can make good use of it if we see fit.
'Art is food for the soul, to live without it is to starve the spirit of nourishment'. Barbara G. Le Blanc