More About My Story
and the SYLVAN REFLECTIONS art, book & film project
Put your feet up, relax, and sink yourself into this beautiful short documentary created by ICandyFilms showing gorgeous forest scenery and telling the story of how the book came to be—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:
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 someday 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.
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’…
Published by Raven Creations, 2016. Available for sale on Etsy.
PO Box 165, Crescent Valley BC V0G 1H0 Canada
2023, 2022, 2021, 2020 HerStory, annual juried online exhibition, Manhattan Arts International, curated by Renee Phillips, New York
2023 The Healing Power of ART Inspired By NATURE Exhibition, The Healing Power of Art & Artists website, curated by Renee Phillips
2020 Healing Power of Art & Artists juried online exhibition
2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019 One-person shows, Columbia Basin Culture Tour, Slocan Valley BC
2014 Group show, Inspired By Nature, Hidden Garden Gallery, curated by Carla Nemiroff, Slocan Lake Gallery Society, New Denver BC
2013 One-person show, juried, Touchstones Museum & Gallery, Artwalk, Nelson & District Arts Council, Nelson BC
2000 Group show, ‘Millennium‘ 21st Kootenay Boundary Regional Juried Art Show, Kootenay Gallery of Art, History & Science, Castlegar BC
1998 ‘Off The Wall‘ Group show, Kootenay Gallery of Art, History & Science, Castlegar, BC
1998 & 1997 One-person shows, Slocan Valley Art Tour, Slocan Valley BC
1997 ‘13 Artists‘ Group show, Gallery 8, Slocan Park BC
1985 ‘4 x 4’s‘ Group show, Cowichan Community Centre Theatre Gallery, Malaspina College, Duncan BC
1985 One-person show, Chemainus Hospital Doctors’ Office, Chemainus BC
1984 ‘Autumn Showcase’, Group show, juried, Nanaimo Arts Council, Madrona Gallery, Nanaimo BC
1984 One-person show, Old Town Cafe, Victoria BC
1982, 1983 & 1984 Group shows, juried, Cowichan Valley Arts Council Spring Arts Fair, Cowichan Community Centre, Duncan BC
Grants & Awards
2020 Award of Excellence, The Spirit of Resilience online exhibition, The Healing Power of Art & Artists (HealingPowerOfArt.org)
2018 Columbia-Kootenay Cultural Alliance, Program 3 – Touring Grant
2018 Slocan Valley Community Arts Council, Individual Project Grant
2016 Columbia-Kootenay Cultural Alliance, Program 1 – Support to Communities Through Community Arts Councils
2016 Slocan Valley Community Arts Council, Individual Project Grant
1990 Six awards: Canada Cup, Best of Show, Best of Class for Classes 1 & 3, Best of Category for Classes 1 & 3: national Financial Times awards awarded by the Industrial Development Association of Canada, for illustrations in Nelson’s business investment brochure, Nelson & Area Economic Development Commission
1984 First Prize Oil Painting, Group show, juried, Cowichan Valley Arts Council Spring Arts Fair, Duncan BC
1983 First Prize Pastels, Group show, juried, Cowichan Valley Arts Council Spring Arts Fair, Duncan BC
1982 People’s Choice Award, Group show, juried, Cowichan Valley Arts Council Spring Arts Fair,
Cowichan Community Centre, Duncan BC
1973 Award for Artistic Achievement, Brookfield High School, Ottawa ON
Articles & Interviews
2020 Artist Barbara Brown Aids TreeSisters to Help the Natural World, Healing Power of ART & ARTISTS, featured interview/article by Renee Phillips, December
2020 West Kootenay artists receive Award of Excellence at juried exhibition, The Valley Voice, p 10, March 12
2020 Local artists receive awards in Healing Power of Arts exhibition, West Kootenay Advertiser, p A8, March 5
2019 TreeSisters: women seeding change, Courageous Conversations interview with Samiel Carolina, September 27
2019 InnerAbundant Mindset interview with Jolen Philbrook, April 20
2018 Sylvan Reflections at Nakusp Library, The Valley Voice, p 21, September 20
2018 TreeSisters.org‘s, Creativity Liaison interview with Kathleen Brigidina, April 10
2017 Barbara Brown, Sylvan Reflections: Wanderings, Paintings and Ponderings From the Forest, ARTiculate Magazine, p 28, Spring/Summer
2017 Come to the Forest with Sylvan Reflections, The Valley Voice, p 9, April 6
2017 ‘The Story Behind the Story: Sylvan Reflections: Wanderings, Paintings & Ponderings From the Forest‘ One Thousand Trees online magazine, p 6, November
2016 Slocan Valley Painter launches first book: Sylvan Reflections, The Valley Voice, p 20, November 3
1990 Best in the Country! Six national awards for Queen City, p 10, Nelson Daily News, October 24
2019-present Illustrator for author Christine Sutherland’s‘In Good Hands’ series of massage therapy textbooks
2016-2019 Book launch presentations, Sylvan Reflections: Wanderings, Paintings & Ponderings From the Forest, artist’s show, talk & film showing, at: Kootenay Gallery of Art, History & Science, November 5, 2016, Castlegar; Hidden Garden Gallery, November 17, 2016, New Denver; Blue Night, Booksmyth, November 26, 2016, Nelson; Slocan Library, April 9, 2017, Slocan; Nakusp Library, September 27, 2018, Nakusp; Revelstoke Library, October 24, 2018, Revelstoke; Invermere Library, November 22, 2018, Invermere; Kimberley Library, January 31, 2019, Kimberley; Trail Library, February 21, 2019, Trail; Salmo Library, April 3, 2019, Salmo; Golden Library, May 23, 2019, Golden; Grand Forks Library, July 25, 2019, Grand Forks; Creston Library, September 21, 2019, Creston; Kelowna Library, November 2, 2019, Kelowna
1993-2012 Cartographer and graphic designer, creating and producing West Kootenay Vacation Guide Map, Nelson & Area Map & Guide, and Castlegar & Area Map & Guide
1979-2012 Freelance graphic design, illustration, cartography
1985 Malaspina College, Fine Arts Diploma, First Class, Nanaimo BC
1979 University of Victoria, Bachelor of Science, First Class, Major in Geography, Victoria BC
1985-present Member, CARFAC (Canadian Artists’ Representation/Le Front des Artistes Canadiens)
2020 Member, Healing Power of ART & Artists
2019-20 Member, Manhattan Arts International (ManhattanArts.com )
2020 Member, ForMotherNature.com
2015-2020 Member, Slocan Valley Community Arts Council
2016-2018 Board of Directors, Slocan Valley Community Arts Council
1989-1990 Board of Directors, Kootenay Artisan Marketing Association