STUDIO VISITS: Barbara Scott’s detailed drawings and intuitive abstracts

While visiting Vancouver Island last week for the opening of a group show entitled UNSCRIPTED in which I’m participating, I had the pleasure of staying with my artist-friend Barbara Ann Scott, and so decided to take advantage of the opportunity to do a studio visit with her for my blog series!



Meeting Barbara

I met Barbara during a Steven Aimone workshop 2 years ago in Nanaimo BC. My friend Catherine Fields and I had ventured to Vancouver Island for the 5-day intensive course and quickly befriended Barbara! Then this past April we did a second workshop in which Barbara also participated. Here she is presenting her week’s worth of work at the end of the course.



Her background

Barbara was born in Edinburgh Scotland where she trained as a teacher. She also attended classes at the Edinburgh College of Art and once she immigrated to British Columbia in 1983 she pursued her Master’s degree in Art Education from the University of Victoria. She continued to teach elementary students, often swapping art classes for P.E. with other teachers! She retired a few years ago and has focussed on her art full-time, attending many workshops with renowned teachers such as Pat Sans Soucie, Gerald Brommer, Robert Burridge and of course, Steven Aimone.


Her studio and her work

Barbara built a spacious studio above her garage, where she has more than a 180 degree view, including the Strait of Georgia between Vancouver Island and the mainland. Not only does she have a full bathroom with a big stainless steel sink, but loads of storage space for materials, drawings and paintings, big windows, her computer station and a seating area for sipping tea and munching on her chocolate treats! 



Barbara is a mixed media artist whose work is very much a personal journey. Her work is about design, structure and color and she loves pattern. She enjoys mystery and exploration. Her approach to painting is intuitive, developing a dialogue with the image…”it seems to tell me what it needs”. She wants to share her feelings, experiences and perceptions through her work.


During my stay in her house I had the great pleasure of watching Barbara create…and what a sight! She worked on four 24×24 paintings simultaneously on the floor (she had graciously given her usual spot to me!). Then later between preparing lunch and dinner, she created 4 other smaller works on paper, using both gloved hands, fingers in the paint, intuitively mixing, responding, sensing her way. Gorgeous results all round!



In the spring Barbara was invited to be a guest member of TOSH10, a group of female artists who share an eclectic and complementary vision. They also share a large bright studio space and a gallery to exhibit their work, in the basement of The Old School House Gallery (TOSH) Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island. Three to four times a month each artist in the group has the run of the studio space where they create and “man” the gallery. They can sell their works as well as cards.


As well upstairs at TOSH Barbara’s work is also on display in the UNSCRIPTED group show. Here you really get a sense of Barbara’s love of color and her detailed drawing work…she is very creative and multi-talented!!


Next shows

During my stay at Barbara’s two of her drawings were selected into the Federation of Canadian Artists’ Fall Juried Show. Her works will be exhibited in the Nanaimo Art Gallery alongside an eclectic mix of collages, mixed media, and acrylic paintings. As well, one of her 8×8 drawings on paper mounted on canvas was accepted into the Federation of Canadian Artists’ Small, Smaller, Smallest show in November on Granville Island in Vancouver.


Next up is a studio visit with my other hostess on my visit to the island…Diane McCarten, so stay tuned!


5 thoughts on “STUDIO VISITS: Barbara Scott’s detailed drawings and intuitive abstracts

  1. I’m delighted to say I’ve known Barbara since we were children in Edinburgh and played together because of our parents’ friendship. I’m so proud to have her friendship and know she’s doing what gives her so much pleasure and happiness, not only to herself but to so many others as I’m sure, knowing Barbara, is one of her aims. She’s inspirational and I’m looking forward to her first exhibition in W.A., where i’m now living. Keep well and happy Barbara, love, Avlene x

  2. Margaret and I are long time friends of Barbara from Edinburgh and we were on holiday with Barbara during the summer when we saw her work first hand. It is truly inspiring and for me thought provoking. In fact Margaret bought an original and when I see it on her wall, there is a contemplative aspect to the painting which draws me in every time I look at it.Keep painting and athough there were loads of great moments during the holidays, our visit to Qualicum Beach was definitely fantastic.Lots of love, Anne Marie xxxx

  3. Barbara I love what you are doing. Great color. And…Sara what a super idea to create this showing. We don’t get to visit artists studios so really appreciate you doing this!!

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