Featured Artist Barbara Davies

Experience the beauty and Old World charm in these oil paintings by artist Barbara Davies that are reminiscent of a slower-paced life. View more of her art by visiting her website.


Oil painting of Lake Como, Italy, by Barbara Davies

“Lake Como, Italy” Oil, 24″ x 36″


I was fascinated with color and form when I was young.


Oil painting of the San Francisco marina by Barbara Davies

“San Francisco Marina” Oil, 36″ x 24″


Growing up in a small New England town, I spent hours teaching myself to draw, paint and sculpt. There was always a creative project underway, whether it was a life-sized snow sculpture on the front lawn, or a cadre of circus animals carved from bars of Ivory soap. I won an art contest in second grade, resulting in a summer scholarship at a Boston art school. This fueled my passion for painting.


Oil painting of Eagle Falls in Lake Tahoe, California, by Barbara Davies

“Eagle Falls, Lake Tahoe, California” Oil, 30″ x 24″


Told that I couldn’t support myself as an artist, I worked at various jobs after high school.


Oil still life of lemons in a glass bowl by Barbara Davies

“Lemons in a Glass Bowl” Oil, 24″ x 18″


I worked my way up from a secretarial position to product management in a computer company. Because I worked hard, I was rewarded with a college education paid for by my company. With a degree in computer science, my career took off.


Oil painting of a Napa vineyard in Napa, California, by Barbara Davies

“Napa Vineyard, Napa, California” Oil, 24″ x 18″


I traveled a great deal throughout Europe and the United States on business. In Europe, I took thousands of photos and made hundreds of sketches of the quaint cafes, passageways, piazzas and churches of the villages encountered in my travels.


Oil painting of the rain in Paris, France seen through a window by Barbara Davies

“Paris Rain” Oil, 24″ x 30″


One day, during my commute to the Silicon Valley office where I was a Director at a major computer company, I realized I was unhappy. Going to work each morning had become a chore. My high-stress position was causing me sleepless nights, and I was frequently exhausted from 60-hour work weeks. That morning I resigned, and soon after I enrolled in classes at the College of Art in Oakland, California.


Oil painting of an arch in Cinzano, Sienna, Italy by Barbara Davies

“Cinzano, Sienna, Italy” Oil, 24″ x 36″


I focused on Old World painting techniques, glazing thin layers of color over dry underpainting. Soon, I was painting city scenes from all the resource materials I gathered during my European travels.


“Crescent Cycles, Arles, France” Oil, 36″ x 24″


I loved painting the century-old buildings with their peeling plaster and exposed stone and brick, winding cobblestone streets and cafe windows with their artistically arranged goods.


Oil painting of Cafe Arles in Arles, France, by Barbara Davies

“Cafe Arles, Arles, France” Oil, 24″ x 30″


Returning to Europe as an artist, I learned to love the slower pace of small village life. This meant lingering over a latte at an outdoor cafe, or enjoying a simple meal made with local ingredients.


Oil painting of a sunlit patio in Italy by Barbara Davies

“Sunlit Patio, Italy” Oil, 30″ x 24″


I began showing my work at local galleries in California, and after my first sale, used the funds to rent studio space in Danville, California. My work is exhibited in collections throughout the United States, and is currently shown locally at Art on the Lane, Danville; Blackhawk Gallery, Blackhawk; The Firehouse Gallery, Pleasanton; and Art Obsessions in Truckee, California.


Artist Barbara Davies invites you to follow her on Facebook.


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