Barbara McLain Profile Photo

Barbara McLain

NICASIO, CA

Painting is a way for me to explore the human spirit in its journey toward truth. From my earliest efforts portraying the wounded soul, to more recent work exploring the vulnerable human, my work emphasizes figurative expression. More recently, I began to investigate the figure in the context of abstraction, using oils and acrylics, canvas and paper, brushes and brayers. The current pandemic has been a source of intense exploration of my own human response to this challenging event. I completed a number of paintings over the course of this past year integrating the emotional toll this crisis has had on all of us. As we begin to emerge from this pandemic, I find that my paintings also begin to portray more light, less angst. May the recovery continue. May we continue to learn that what happens to each of us, happens to everyone.

Despite yearning to attend art school at 18, my parents had other ideas for my future. This did not include art. In my efforts to please them, off I went to college to become a nurse. After acquiring all the essential degrees and an Associate Clinical Professor position at UCSF, finally, at the age of 43, I left it all and went to New York and the Art Students League to finally realize my dream.

On returning to the Bay Area less than two years later, I soon found myself balancing painting with a new found love as a hospice nurse. While I continued to paint throughout this time, I recently retired from Hospice By the Bay in 2019. My nursing background clearly lent itself to my interest in the figure.

Forest Muse

Barbara McLain

The Artist as Muse

Barbara McLain

September Sadness

Barbara McLain

On Hold

Barbara McLain

Defiance

Barbara McLain