Artist’s Statement

“Staring into the clouds has its consequences,” laughs Barbara Peterson.  “Looking up takes me to another place – to a place of endless possibilities. Watching the sky gives me greater perspective; it represents a lack of boundaries or limitations – ultimate freedom in a sense.

I generally paint still lifes and landscapes in a representational style. However, I often add graphic elements or symbols to some paintings; these paintings I describe as “realism with a twist”.

I juxtapose elements such as a limitless background with a tightly defined focal area. I experiment with spatial illusions to create a type of ‘altered dimension’ where skyscape and still life meet. I include the sky symbolically in these still lifes to represent freedom and potential beyond one’s scope of vision. That’s how these paintings emerge.

By combining both still life and landscape elements, I’ve found a vehicle for visually expressing familiar emotions, experiences, and ideas. As I paint I open up new possibilities.”

—  Barbara Peterson | Artist, Art Instructor


BarbaraBarbara Peterson is a formally trained artist who earned her B.F.A. from New York’s prestigious Pratt Institute.  Preferring to paint in a realistic yet symbolic style, Peterson alters dimension in her paintings so that still life and landscape meet.   MORE/LESS...

A densely populated city such as New York, where Barbara was born and raised, can kindle a yearning for open spaces, greenery, and peaceful uncluttered atmospheres. In the nearby zoo and botanic garden where Barbara grew up she could sit and contemplate life. The warmth of the sun, the wind rustling through leaves as birds flit about, the sounds — or stillness — of nature created a haven for Barbara to sit and think.

Barbara contemplates ideas she wishes to convey and then searches her environment for the objects, subjects or tools to convey her thoughts. Barbara evaluates how each element in the image relates to the others,  and how each will need to be rendered to work together in the painting.

Barbara is thankful for her formal art training; she earned her degree at Pratt with honor.  Barbara continues to improve her work through the practice of regularly painting outdoors and in her studio, visiting exhibits, and studying the work of other artists.

Barbara and her husband John now live in central Indiana. 

Galleries & Art Associations

Indiana Artists – Indianapolis, IN
Hoosier Salon – Carmel, IN
IPAPA – Indianapolis, IN
Brown Ink Gallery – Vauxhall, NJ
Xanadu Gallery – Scottsdale, AZ
Arts Guild of New Jersey – Rahway, NJ
City Without Walls – Newark, NJ

Professional Associations

New Jersey Association of Women Business Owners (NJAWBO)
The MI Network