More About My Story
SYLVAN REFLECTIONS: Wanderings, Paintings & Ponderings From the Forest
art, book & film project
Put your feet up, relax, and sink yourself into this beautiful short documentary created by ICandyFilms telling the story of how the book came to be and showing you what this project of mine is all about …enjoy!
Barbara Brown, BSc., DipFA., artist, geographer, and thinker. Forest walker, and author of the book:
SYLVAN REFLECTIONS: Wanderings, Paintings and Ponderings From the Forest.
I live in a cabin my husband and I built in the forest on a mountainside in the wild Kootenays region of the Canadian Rockies; in the Slocan Valley, near Nelson ~ a haven for free-thinkers and people who have chosen alternative lifestyles, tucked away in the remote southeast corner of British Columbia, Canada.
Spending time in nature has always been crucial to my well-being. As a geographer I studied ‘natural resources’ and outdoor recreation, and how we as humans can live in harmony with nature. Twenty four years ago I began a daily practice of walking in the forest, which I continue to this day, watching the plant and animal life ebb and flow through all the seasons. Having a deep connection with my forest, it is where I feel most alive. It fills me up, to overflowing, to the point where I must express myself and tell others, with my words and paintings, about this connection.
Creating visual art has, as well, always been an important part of who I am. In my younger years I was in several shows and did many commissioned pieces, of both commercial and fine art. I then stopped painting for twenty years while I ran a business producing annual visitor guide maps promoting my region and all its incredible natural and cultural attractions and outdoor recreation opportunities. This seemed to take up all my creative energy. But I always knew I would come back to painting some day when the time was right. That time has come. I sold the maps business, and am now filled to bursting with the inspiration (and the time!) to paint my beloved forest.
Philosophical thought is also foundational to my being. As an original thinker, I am committed to exploring the human condition. My path through life has always been contemplative and self-reflective. Then, in 2007 I was diagnosed with lung cancer, and this experience vastly deepened my awareness of what it means to be alive. Through it I became enraptured with life. Having come out the other side stronger, wiser, and feeling more whole, I now am even grateful for that cancer. And I am called to share, to help others find their way through difficult times along their journey.
I know when I was in that hospital bed, and then home indoors recovering, I would have loved to have had a book and film like SYLVAN REFLECTIONS to transport me into the healing green magic of the forest.
Giving a presentation at a library
Barbara is a Canadian artist and author living in the wild and remote mountains of SE British Columbia, where she paints, writes and produces films about the forest where she lives.
Her intimacy with the woods is reflected in her paintings. She expertly captures the enchantment of the forest with her juxtaposition of realism lovingly rendered, with otherworldly symbolism and/or geometric elements –sometimes hidden, always spellbinding.
Barbara has exhibited and won awards in juried exhibitions, and she shows her work annually locally in the Columbia Basin Culture Tour. Online she exhibits at Manhattan Arts International where she has won Awards of Excellence in the Healing Power of Art 2020 and Spirit of Resilience shows.
She has a BSc. degree in Geography from the University of Victoria, and she is a graduate of Malaspina College’s two year Fine Arts diploma program. She has sat on the Board of Directors of her local Slocan Valley Arts Council, and has won several Grants to further her work.
Her work is in private collections across the country, and her book with its companion film sells internationally from her Etsy shop, where high archival quality prints of her paintings can also be purchased.
Barbara puts out an email Newsletter ‘🌲News From the Forest’, and she has a growing social media following on Facebook.
Rise Up Rooted Wellness Symposium, Alex Strauss, The Mindful Walker, interviews Barbara Brown
TreeSisters’ Creativity Liaison Kathleen Brigidina interviews Barbara Brown
TreeSisters ‘Courageous Conversations’: Samiel Carolina interviews Barbara Brown
Jolen Philbrook from InnerAbundantMindset.com interviews Barbara Brown
~The Healing Power of ART & ARTISTS, website, ‘World Changers’ interview/article, ‘Barbara Brown Aids TreeSisters to Help the Natural World‘, Renee Phillips.
~ARTiculate magazine, book review, in New & Noteworthy section, Spring/Summer 2017 Issue #31, Page 28.
~Valley Voice newspaper, article, in Community section, ‘West Kootenay artists receive award of excellence at juried exhibition’, March 12, 2020 edition, Page 10
~Valley Voice newspaper, article, in Community section, ‘Slocan Valley Painter launches first book: Sylvan Reflections’, November 3, 2016 edition, Page 20
~No Ordinary Words: The Real Life Wisdom of Women
I am one of thirty three contributing authors in this wonderful collection of stories gathered together by Editor Kelly Herrick, and available for sale on Amazon with all proceeds going to two charities: TreeSisters, and She Has Hope.
From the back cover:
“We’ve all lived through some challenging life lessons, but what if we shared their power to uplift and inspire one another? In this book, 33 women from around the world come together to celebrate the hardships, the celebrations and the revelations of life in today’s world.
From mental health to nature connectedness, from fertility to menopause, belonging and community, and so much more, this book explores the deeper aspects of life with an open honesty and authenticity normally found amongst friends.”
In my chapter I speak about how I raised the courage to become the artist I always knew I was meant to be—and I tell the story, for the first time, about coming upon a young Raven, hurt and dying, in the forest; and how he gave the power of his life—his flight, to me to help me to learn to fly after feeling I had jumped off a cliff with the reinvention of myself as ‘Barbara Brown, Artist of the Forest’…
~One Thousand Trees, online magazine, article about my journey with the creation of this project of mine, in ‘The Story Behind the Story‘ section, November 2017 issue, Page 6.