Barbara Brown, BSc. DipFA., an artist, geographer, and thinker.
I live in an owner-built cabin 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. Fifteen 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 artwork 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 found someone to take over the maps business, and I am now filled to bursting with the inspiration 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, six years ago 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.