Art has always been an important part of my family. My great- grandmother and grandmother both painted; my grandfather was an architect; my mother worked in batik and pastels; my uncle is a professional cartoonist; and my cousin is a jewelry designer.
Unlike some of my less fortunate artist friends, I was encouraged to pursue a career in the arts, and I chose exhibition and graphic design, a profession I have enjoyed for over 30 years.
Since semi-retiring in 2012, I have turned to painting in oils and pastels with a particular interest in documenting disappearing landscapes, both urban and rural, and the ways of life they represent. Beyond pure documentation however, I am fascinated by changing weather conditions, faded wood, rusting metal, and dramatic cloud formations. I photograph my subjects at different times of the year and day, and paint from my own photographs. Whenever possible I research and write brief histories of the abandoned farm houses and factories I paint.
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"Abandoned Homes in Virginia’s Norther Neck: A series of paintings made to preserve the memories of these fading beauties." Barbara Brennan, 2021
Since moving the Northern Neck in 2004, I have been fascinated with the abandoned structures dotting the landscape. As an artist, I find beauty in weathered wood penetrated by vines and rusting tin roofs. As a historian, I immerse myself in their stories and have had the honor of meeting several relatives of their original inhabitants, many of whom shared with me memories of family gatherings the paintings evoked. Since starting this series in 2012, several of my subjects have been taken down by nature or their owners, arousing a sense of urgency to preserve and protect them before they are gone forever.