Barbara Mclean Artisit | Profile

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Artist’s Profile


Barbara McLean is a graduate of Graphic Design (Sheridan College) and has a BFA with a major in fine art (NSCAD University). She conducts workshops for art associations throughout Nova Scotia.


Her work has been purchased by the Shannex Corporation, Nova Scotia Art Bank, GPI Atlantic, as well as many private collectors across Canada, USA, and Korea.


Barbara’s large abstracts and landscape paintings are charged with energy and optimism. They glow with colour and engage the viewer with confident intuitive brush strokes. Dynamic gestures often lead into areas of more subtle investigation. There is a sense of mystery in many of the pieces—hinting that a discovery is just beyond view—perceivable if only one could look long enough. They reveal a compelling personal philosophy: a welcoming of change, a belief in serendipity and the courage to investigate the unknown, a philosophy presented through the medium of paint.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”60″][vc_column_text]



Abstract pieces frequently begin with ‘drippy’ washes in a predetermined colour. Over this I paint bold unpremeditated marks usually with a very large brush, but sometimes with a squeegee or a rag. I have learned to trust my intuition and allow myself to enjoy and preserve the unexpected. After the initial spontaneous mark-making I evaluate the surface, making intellectual decisions that compliment or strengthen the original gestures. Some areas are reinforced and some are painted out until I am satisfied that the visual statement is as effective as it can be. This intellectual analysis tempers the raw energy, unifying and finishing it.


Recently I have begun to incorporate charcoal and pastels with acrylic paint to intensify the sense of earthiness which is important to my current exploration. The use of charcoal and pastels heightens one’s awareness of marks and layering. As a result the the paintings are less referential than my earlier work, and more open to interpretation.


No matter what the media, I usually have as many as five paintings underway at one time and work on them over several months. It is a demanding discipline, one I love. One I am committed to.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”60″][vc_column_text]

Gallery Representation


Art Sales and Rental Gallery, Halifax
Harvest Gallery, Wolfville
Peer Gallery, Lunenburg
Visual Voice Gallery, Truro
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Solo and Co-Exhibits


St. Francis Xavier University Gallery, Antigonish, NS

Craig Gallery, Dartmouth, NS

2017, Not Just Black and White with glass artist Anke Holm
Peer Gallery, Lunenburg, NS

2015, Drawnout, with Susan Hudson
Peer Gallery, Lunenburg, NS

2014, Groundshift Expanded
City of St. John Art Gallery, NB


2013, Groundshift
Peer Gallery, Lunenburg, NS


2013, A co-exhibit with stone sculptor,
Heather Lawson
Harvest Gallery, Wolfville, NS


2012, Barbara McLean, New Work
Peer Gallery, Lunenburg, NS


2012, Abstract Landscapes 
Harvest Gallery, Wolfville, NS


2012, Markers and Tracings
ARTsPLACE, Annapolis Royal, NS


2011, Old Ground/New Ground
Peer Gallery, Lunenburg, NS


2010, Chance and Circumstance
Atlantic School of Theology Gallery,
Halifax, NS


2010, Abstract Landscapes
Art Sales and Rental Gallery,
Halifax, NS


2009, Passages
Craig Gallery, Dartmouth, NS


2009, Describing Landscape
Peer Gallery, Lunenburg, NS


2007, Intrinsic Worth
Peer Gallery, Lunenburg, NS


2005, Mixed Metaphor
Itaewan, Korea

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