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BARBARA CARTER
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"FACES" 6x16 inches
Born in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia.
My interest in drawing began around the age of ten.
In my teen years I wanted to pursue art as a career, but circumstances prevented that from happening.
In my early twenties I threw out my art supplies and did what everyone around me was doing-I got married and started a family.
During this time I discovered quilting.
My younger sister (who didn't sew at all) bought a quilting magazine and announced she was going to make herself a quilt.
Even though our mother had quilted in her younger years, it was not something she had taught us.
I fell in love with the images in that magazine and soon learned to make necessary items for our home: cushions, drapes, quilts-and the quilt my sister had wanted to make.

At twenty-eight years old I had three children under the age of four when the desire to create my own images was something I could no longer deny.
Finding myself with no art supplies and not enough money to buy any. I searched for a solution…

My mother had given me an antique frame from a yard sale. For months it hung empty on the wall in our bathroom. Every time I looked at it I tried to think of something special to put in it.
In January 1987, it all came together in a flash of inspiration-I'd fill the frame with small appliqued black, white and gray faces, similar to a flower garden quilt pattern I'd seen in a book.
The only hitch being, I'd never appliqued before, but I was willing to take it on.

After completing my first piece I was excited about what else I could create with fabric. Simplifying my drawings, I explored the possibilities.

From there I began a search to learn about showing and selling my art.
Forcing myself out of my comfort zone, I phoned strangers, asked questions, showed my work to others. 
I learned how to stretch my work over Masonite and frame it behind glass.

For me to spend my time making pictures to hang on our walls seemed frivolous compared to making practical items for our home. 
That was my mind-set at the time.
But something within me kept pushing me on. Kept me believing that creating art was important.

In September 1988, I had my first solo show at The Black Duck Gallery, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.
All work at that time was black, white and gray.


TO VIEW ARTWORK go to the PAST SHOWS section.


At first, my main concern was to sell my art. To have others appreciate it enough to pay for it.
That was the validation I needed to feel my art had value.
It would take years before I'd come to recognize that my art had much more to offer than just monetary value.
And that it was an important guide on my journey of self-discovery and healing.

Over the years colour seeped into my work.
My self-confidence grew.

In 1990 I began instructing art classes for children. For twelve years I travelled to numerous school in Lunenburg County, NS, offering after school classes. I also worked for Bridgewater Parks & Recreation instructing children and adults from 1997 to 2002.
During this time, I painted and sold canvas and vinyl floor mats, one-of-a-kind painted fabric Face Brooches, and Two-faced Hanging Pillows.

In 1995 I began dabbling with writing. As I instructed art classes for high school students and my children approached their teens, I felt the need to write about my teen years to better understand the struggles I'd had.

When I'd first started my fabric works I had no idea that as a person I had anything of value to say, but in the mid-nineties my mind overflowed and I discovered that I had much to say.

The desire to write became stronger and in the year 2000, I signed up for creative writing classes, feeling that if I didn't I would go crazy.
So, once again, I stepped outside my comfort zone.
As part of a class project we wrote, edited, published and sold a collection of short stories titled "A Drop in the Ocean."

In 2002, I moved from the Mahone Bay area (where I'd always lived) to the Halifax area.
Burned-out from teaching, I switched to retail work.

Over the years teaching had allow me to explore different media and incorporate what I'd taught into my work. No longer focusing on selling my art, I explored mixed-media: painting on wood, wood-burning, gluing fabric on wood, chalk pastels, oil pastels, collage, etc.  

I follow where my inner voice leads.
My art and writing has guided me to let go of the past and move on to live more fully in the present moment.
My goal is to aid others on their journey to heal inner wounds and find joy, peace and love.
And the value of trusting their inner guidance.