Behind Every Painting . . . a story, an idea, a moment

November 2, 2017
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Close to Home © Barbara J Hart is a landscape oil painting on canvas and measures 20″ x 20″


Behind every painting there is a story, an idea, a moment. 

“Close to Home” is about that moment when big billowing clouds of brilliant whites, soft pinks, and yellows captured my gaze. These clouds passed quickly as they morphed and changed, never to be the same.  It was a pleasure to capture this vision in its backdrop of blue. To paint them was like touching the sky!

My inspiration was from a photo I snapped of Historic Onancock Creek, located on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Onancock is Algonquian for “foggy place”. This lovely colonial port was founded in 1680, and is a short boat ride from the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. The creek meanders past woodlands, fields and osprey nests, while stately historic homes line its shores.

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Radiant Light & Dancing Clouds

July 16, 2017
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“Route 13″ © Barbara J Hart was inspired by frequent trips up and down the Eastern Shore on its main road. Tall trees and grasses line the road below radiant skies and dancing clouds. Oil painting on 6″x6” cradled board.


I’ve always been drawn to the landscape of the sky.

When I see a spectacular sky, something that grabs me and takes me out of myself  I’m compelled to take a photo. Not as a record but as an emotion that I feel. I’ve always loved to watch clouds. Growing up in Brooklyn, my sister and I would lay on our backs on the stoop and watch clouds form, collide together and move into different shapes, all illuminated by light.

Clouds give a particular emotional tone to a painting – ordinary stillness or extraordinary events above.

And with a painting you can return and recapture a particular feeling, unlike with a cloud formation, where in a few minutes, it’s gone.

Painting clouds gives me a chance to create drama and depth, to internalize a particular moment giving it a tone. Baroque skies are dramatic and powerful while sublime skies have unearthly, visionary qualities.

There is always the association of clouds to heaven, with the divine, belonging to nature. Painting the landscape of the sky reminds me that we are all part of nature.

In this painting the sky and the road take on a luminous quality. Low clouds are separated by blue sky. Some clouds are like bunched cauliflower with flat bottoms while others dance in an airy realm of wind and space. 

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Clouds Floating Into My Painting

April 11, 2017
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On my easel this morning.  


Painting in process . Peeking out above the canvas is a portion the photo I’m working from. Colors on the palette are mixed and I’m ready to go!


Here’s the photo I’m working from. This was taken on one of my morning walks along the Onancock Creek. Don’t you just love that sky! 

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Why Landscape Painting?

April 4, 2017
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Chincoteague Misty Morning © Barbara J Hart , 2017. It is a study of the pines on Chincoteague Island, 6″ x 6″

Painting landscape is magical.

With a few strokes of a paint brush and dabs of color you create clouds that dance across the sky, grasses that sway in the breeze, and marsh land that stretches into the distance.

Landscape artists create illusion. The illusion of deep space on the flat canvas or board. We paint the air to create the warmth of the sun and dark clouds that promise rain. The scene can be painted from a photograph of a place once visited, or on location (plein air) or it can be created from the imagination.

We of course do not paint exactly what we see, there are cameras for that. Instead, we decide what we want to see. We can choose to depict the landscape in various ways. If there are too many trees on the slope, we can choose to leave out a few. We can paint every blade of grass or instead, with the stroke of the brush or palette knife create an abstract field of color.

We work to draw you in, for you to become spell bound and to enter the painting and into the majesty of the land.





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