Wednesday, July 22, 2009

TDIPT Presents......

Barb Shores of "Village Folk Art"

We were delighted when Barb agreed to be the next artist to step into the TDIPT Spotlight!

We hope you will enjoy reading all about this very talented artist as much as we did!

We asked Barb:

Where do you live?
I am a transplanted Yankee. Born in N.J., raised in N.Y., lived in Saudi Arabia 'til 1950, back to N.J. then transplanted to SoCal.

Can you tell us a little about your family?
Hubs and I were in H.S. together...never dated, hardly knew each other. He went into Army. Upon returning home we met againt at Citrus Jr. College, started dating, married in 1961, had 2 boys, Michael & Jeffrey and 2 girls, Sondra(Sandy) & Pamela.
Moved to VT for 4 years. (loved VT...did not like the bugs)
Came back West to Reno,NV for 5 years. My mother, sister(Suzy) and brother(bob) and their families live there-sort of cause Suzy also has a home in Kona.
Finally...moved back to Apple Valley, CA.
We are the proud grandparents of Kyle MacGregor Pearson and are expecting our first grand-daughter Kohana (little flower) Anne Shores this August.

Barb's sweet daughter Sandy w/ her Dad (Co-pilot) in her golf cart

Do you work outside the home?
Not any more. I love retirement.

Do you have an hobbies/what do you like to do when you're not creating?
I do some quilting, just started a sampler (x-stitch), am making a penny rug (12" x 48" runner)

What are some of your favorite things?
Being with My Hubs, Sandy, Kody & Family get togethers and then painting.

Do you collect anything in particular?
I collect most anything, BUT, it has to strike my fancy. Our space here is limited as are any collections. I do have a preference for baskets, sheep, the strawberry motif, recipes...???

How did you get your start in your creative business? When?
Selling on the internet has been my business, but only since retiring. I just did not have the time to create much before then, Although, back in the 90's I published 3 'Tole and Decorative' painting books...always about "Christmas Traditions". Also, some packets. At the time I was unemployed. 20 years later, here I am. There are no more time constraints like 8 to 5,so 'I Take Joy & Paint' when the spirit moves me. I am not always as productive as I'd like,and that frustrates me. I have many designs on the drawing is just taking that first starting step . Once I start a painting I am eager to see it finished.

Tell us how you got your business name?
The Village part comes from a town, Hawthorne, N.Y., where I spent my early childhood. My father was born and raised there. We would refer to the small shopping area with a deli, small country market, railroad station, gas station and several small business as the Village. It just has fond memories for me.

Is it in the genes......does anyone in your family, now or generations before create?
YUP, my paternal grandfather, Louis Wheat Wheeler, was a dabling artist. My grandmother, Carrie Shann Moseman Wheeler, (they included all family names) hooked rugs the old fashion way. Using burlap, and cutting old worn wool clothing into strips to create her rugs. I have several of these treasured rugs, but sadly, do not know where to display them...yet. They will never again be used as a rug by me but rather a wall hanging. These are just too precious in my mind. My maternal grandmother, Stella Sophia Twortkowski Rauer, crocheted and boy could she cook. Her Polish recipes are to 'die for'. I have some of her exquiste needlework pieces. One in particuluar that I had framed. She would use it for the bread brasket on special occasions and it spelled 'BREAD'...I treasure this too. My father could do anything. He was mechanically minded and a genious. Mother was and still is a fantastic cook.

How do you keep ideas coming?
Well, Nothing (almost) under the sun is new anymore. I see photos, mostly memories...everything around me especially scenery seems to get my juices flowing. That's why I have so many ideas on the drawingboard. If I have an idea I will make a rough sketch. I just need to sit down, take brush in hand and paint.

Who/what inspires you?
Grandma Moses is my all time inspiration. She started painting at 90. NO I am NOT 90 but approaching it faster than I care to admit. She too painted from her childhood memories. What a trip to look at her paintings...they tell such fascinating stories of past times and life experiences. Oh yes, cannot forget Charles Wysocki, he is totally awesome. He is so detail oriented. The more you look at his paintings the more you see. His details are phenominal and not to mention his Americana subject matter which is so inspiring for me. I love American history...especially since I am a certified member of the DAR (Daughter of the American Revolution), being a descendent of Sergeant Peter Moseman.

Do you have a studio or do you work in different parts of your home?
My home is my studio. But there is one room in particular (10' x 10' den) that we refer to as Mom's room. Do not enter and do not touch anything, only if given is a mess when I am creating. Once a project is completed I try and get organized again. I beleive in "A place for everything and everything in it's place"...I'm something of a control freak. I know where everything is...most of the time.

How do you organize your supplies
Most of my paints are in Mom's room, especially the ones for my current project. The others are in a entertainment center (it was unfinished & I painted it black with a red under coat to match my windsor chairs), where CD's are normally stored. This is located in the dining area...and is used as a buffet. In my room, I have most of my books stored on a wrought iron baker's rack. My pewter cabinet stores fabrics below and painting supplies on the shelves above. Two other tall shelves house the rest of my crafting and painting brushes & supplies, most of which are stored in plastic see thru shoe boxes. I also have a folding table on which to work pushed up against the pewter cabinet. My puter has it's own special cabinet on the opposite wall. A lower cabinet, just under the window, has more fabric, patterns and crafting books stored in it. Oh Yes, my Singer, model 401A, is up against one of the double doors into this very mysterious and curious space. That means all four sides are occupied...with something. When I enter this room, there is enough space for me to sit and reach for most of what I might need at the time. I'd say tight quarters and that is why no one ventures into this space of mine...If they do, they enter at their own risk. It is not hazardous, just overwhelming.

Do you like to listen to music while you work, if so what ?
I prefer classical and semi-classical...or holiday music when that time of year is approaching...Like "Christma in July". Occassionally, I will listen to talk radio programs until my blood starts to boil...then off it goes... I do like Peace & Quiet.

Do you have a favorite piece of art that you've created?
I like all of my creations...I could not possibly spend so much time on these projects if my heart was not into them.

What have you learned about marketing?
I know NOTHING about marketing. I need lots of help here...Any suggestions?

What keeps you motivated?
Sometimes my motivation bottoms out. I get discouraged or just simply become disinterested. Then, I start looking at other artisan's works...and I am inspired and again eager to get something accomplished.

Do you sell you work in any shops, or will you be in any upcoming shows?
I do not usually particiapate in shows nor do I sell in shops. Where I live, high desert (Mojave), there is simply not that much going on. I have participated in boutiques and I am a member of the 'Victor Valley Museum & Art Gallery'. I should be living in the Heartland or New England area where the Primitive Americana look is in demand. Actually, that is where my heart is, but family is here. You know -"God, Family & Country"- in that order. So here we are and I do love the climate in the high desert...close to the 4 seasons with very hot and dry summers.

Birdhouse in Barb's front garden

Has your work been published in any magazines? Have you received any type of awards/recognition for your work?
My work 'Portrait of Santa' has been published in the 'Artist's Journal' for the Winter issue of 1992. My 'Star Santa' also appeared on the cover of 'Tole World's' issue for December 1994. In 1992 I earned and was conferred with the title Certified Decorative Artist through the National Society of Tole & Decorative Painting. I have been a member since 1979 and have so enjoyed the programs they sponsor including attending many of the conventions and mostly meeting so many talented and inspiring artists. This year I have been honored to be listed in the 2009 Directory of Traditional American Crafts, in the 'painted or framed' category.

Do you have any tips you would like to share?
I am not sure I have many words of wisdom to share...I am still seeking them myself.
But, If you have passionate interests and talents, it is wise to seek out those who share those with you. I have found that artists are the most giving people. They are very generous to share their knowlege and offer so much inspiration. Certainly, the NSTDP was a stepping stone for me. At the time, because of family and working, my time was limited. My contact with people having the same interests, kept me focused on what I so desired to know more about and it just blossomed over time.

Tell us something about yourself that may surprise us?
When I was in the 8th grade and in St. Bernards school in Plainfield, N.J....I thought I wanted to become a nun. A nun I am NOT. So that resolved that issue.
I am very compassionate about animals, maybe more than some people...I love my pets so much and they are basically at our mercy...they cannot speak out and tell us what is bothering them. St. Francis of Assisi is the patron saint for animals...maybe I could help him. I have a statue of him in my backyard garden...He is a constant reminder that "kindness matters"

It's obvious that Barb also enjoys gardening very much!

Barb's Bittersweet

...and her lovely potted Herb garden. She grows them in barrels, so no bending over for her!

Thanks so much Barb, it's been fun seeing you in the TDIPT Spotlight!


  1. I loved your interview Barb. I also love how your got your business name. You and your hubby are really cute! My husband & I met in a similar fashion. We knew each other in high school, never dated, then met again at age 30. Funny how life goes. Congrats on being accepted in the the directory!


  2. Hi Barb, Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed reading about you, your family and your painting (which by the way is fabulous!)

    Thanks for sharing a bit about yourself with all of us.

  3. Barb,
    Really great spotlight! Love your herb garden and birdhouse in your front yard. You've had and will continue to have such great accomplishments! Your work is beautiful!

  4. Barb it was fun to see you in the spotlight! I too love your herb garden, and really enjoyed reading all about you and your family!

    Thank you for sharing w/ us :)

  5. Barb...thanks so much for sharing with us!
    It's nice to find out how you got your business name, pics of you and your family and home...
    Just a wonderful interview!


  6. Barb it was so nice to read about you and learn some things I didnt know. Im glad you are a animal lover such as I. And again, your daughter is so pretty, I can see her smile insdie & out.

  7. What a wonderful interview, Barb. I feel fortunate to own some of your work...your talent is amazing!


  8. So nice to read about you Barb! I love seeing the person behind the creations.

    Thank you for sharing. I enjoyed the pictues and loved seeing your studio.


  9. Barb, what a fascinating life you have! Thanks so much for sharing with us, especially the pics of You (Cutie Patootie!) and your Dear Hubs & Lovely Daughter. We have seen your Amazing Talent in your Artwork, but did not know what a GREEN Thumb you have! Your Gardens are Gorgeous! Hugs, Starla

  10. Nice to get to know more about you, Barb. Thanks for inviting us in for a visit.

  11. Hi Barb! I really enjoyed reading about you, your family, and your life. It's really great to put a face with a name. You do beautiful work!

  12. Another great post from a talented artist and a real sweetheart to boot!
    Well heck Barb, I didn't know you spent your childhood here in New York?!
    I love your work area, it looks nice and lived in. (Although it's much neater than mine!) :> )
    I'm a huge fan of Grandma Moses too!

  13. Barb, What a wonderful interview, so nice to get to know you better, as well as your art and your home life!


  14. Thanks ALL for the compliments...They are encouraging and I need some of that as it is 100 on our covered the shade.
    It's just HOT.
    Love ya all and so proud to be a part of a beautiful and talented group,

  15. Barb, I'm so glad we're doing this!
    It's a good thing to know some things about each and every one of us.
    I really enjoyed reading your interview.

    Thank You!

  16. Barb thanks for sharing a bit of yourself with us!!!!! Its always great to get to know our fellow TDIPT ers a lil better!

  17. Hi Barb!

    I really enjoyed reading about you. I LOVE your Artwork and your Gardens are just as beautiful!

    You have a very deep knowledge about life and I love that you have your priorities in the right order.

    So glad to know you and I hope to own a piece of your art one day.

    Glad that you decided against being a Nun! :0)


  18. Hi Barb! Its so nice to feel like I've gotten to know who's behind the name and the maserpieces that you create. Your family and home are beautiful. Thank you for sharing.


We'd love to hear from you!