Barbara in Her Garden


Barbara Reinertson has won multiple awards for her paintings, including a first place in painting at the Napa Valley Expo this year. She was represented in a six month show at the Santa Paula Art Museum in California in 2014, and regularly has her work in exhibitions. She is married to a fellow artist, Spencer Chen with whom she shares a studio and the great outdoors.

 Artist Statement

I have been drawing ever since I could hold a crayon, and still consider drawing skills to be the foundation of good representational painting. I grew up in McLean, Virginia, outside of Washington, DC, which had beautiful rolling fields, gigantic oak trees, ancient paths through the woods and meandering creeks. When I wasn’t outdoors adventuring and filling my eyes with the wonders of the visual world, I was inside drawing, painting or creating collages. That art would be my major in college came as no surprise to anyone, and I received a BFA from American University. 

I had every intention of being a starving artist until I actually started starving, and realized that gainful employment was a necessity. I was able to get a job teaching with the Poverty Program, which allowed me to take education classes simultaneously. The next 3 years were spent teaching art and doing some graduate work in painting at both American and Columbia School of the Arts in New York City.

Everything changed when I went west and landed in San Francisco. I developed a career in illustration, mainly children’s books both trade and educational. I continued to paint and over the years studied with Marjorie Lester Leighton, Jerrold Turner and Chester Arnold. Jerry introduced me to the world of plein air (outdoor) painting - literally a breath of fresh air! I feel so blessed to live in a place of glorious beauty that I’m able to experience through painting. Although I deeply love the world outdoors, I equally love observing the human face and figure. Painting the model and seeing all the nuances of color, light and expression are an endless fascination. In both landscape and portrait painting, I am intrigued by how color and value are transformed by light, and by communicating the emotions that the subject evokes in me.


For information regarding paintings, shows or purchases, email Barbara at:

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