Barbie Mathis started out as a fashion illustrator doing mostly b&w newspaper illustrations. Later she worked in an Atlanta Gallery and Frame shop and there she was inspired to take art classes to learn painting so she could do decorative art. She decided to get a contract with an art publisher. She contracted with Bentley Publishing. her art career was up and running.
Opportunities to study with some of America's finest artists soon came when Barbie moved to Sarasota FL. There she volunteered at the Leech Studio. Well known watercolorists came from all over to teach there and Barbie was there when ever the door was open. Barbie tells me; " I saw such a variety of techniques but I tend to like realistic art. I liked the way artists used layers of transparent glazes to create interesting effects with details, light and color. I mainly work in watercolor and on occasion in oils or acrylics. "
(JB) You often paint flowers what inspires you about flowers? "With flowers there are so many colors and varieties and shapes; I can paint flowers everyday. There is always something new and always a challenge. Seeing and smelling flowers just inspires me and feeds my soul. I heard Wayne Dyer say that "inspire" is the same as “ i n-sp i r i t ”. Flowers "inspirit" me...and connect me to God.
Barbie tells us a little bit more about her background and who she studied art with.
" I went to Bauder Fashion College in Atlanta, GA. Later I had some great individual instruction — Sara Brown and Connie Riley in Atlanta. I also saw demos by Nita Leland, Skip Lawrence, Don Andrews, Frank Webb, Barbara Nechis and many great artists that came to FL. I ' v e taken workshops every year; some favorites have been Joanne Anderson, Margeret Hoybach, Linda
St e v e ns-M o y e r, and M a r i l y n P h y l l i s . "
Barbie continues," I've always enjoyed being in art groups. Most of the art groups have shows and I enter them. In the past 5 years, I have been honored to get in shows all over the country
and actually win a few prizes. I haven't been as intentional about marketing as I need to be now. In the past, if something interested me, I just pursued it by getting out and talking to people, showing my work, entering shows, working with other artists, etc. I have my website at http://www.barbiemathis.com/ and I am showing work and talking with other artists on Facebook. I am also going to have a website through Pre-Paid legal that will provide a business website and marketing help. (Ask me if you want to know more) Village Artists is going to have a website soon."
(JB) Barbie; you have sold a lot in the local art scene and I am sure other artists would like to know if you have any advice on selling art?
(BM) Decide who you want to market to and create your marketing to attract and suite that audience. Example: I want to do fine watercolors for an upscale audience. I joined the V i l l a g e
A r t i s ts C o- o p in the Village at Sandhill. It's a gallery that attracts customers who do not mind spending for fine art. I also have giclees made because my paintings are time consuming. I paint with the intention of making reproductions.
(JB) Is there anything else about you or your art you would like to share with the readers?
(BM) I started selling more art when I realized that God is my source. He knows my needs and as I
v i s u a l i z e, p r a y, and ask for what I need, he brings about the provision. I always have what I need when I need it. Besides my art career I do displays for ARM, office admin for Edward Jones Investments, and for the artist Rachel Parker as a studio assistant.
(JB) In an ideal world; were do you see your art career say in ten years?
(BM) " I want to have more gallery shows and to have my art sought after by major collectors. I'd like to be known as an expert in flower painting.
(JB) Barbie is already known as an expert in flower painting.
(BM) I want to get into National Art Shows such as AWS and NWS. I am currently a signature member of SC Water Media Society. I'd like to keep advancing in the art world. I fully expect my art to support me and I would also like to make enough sales so I can support and mentor other artists who need help getting started. I'd like to have a studio gallery shop where artists can come and work for a while and the public can come in and buy art. I also would like to pay some one to manage it all leaving me to paint and travel with other artists, family and friends. "
Thank you Barbie for sharing your life, your art and your dreams and goals with us. As we start 2009 my wish for you: a very prosperous and happy new year! You go Girl!