Wednesday, February 17, 2021

An Artist By Surprise: A Guest Post by Barbara Younger

 

I have a special treat for you today. My friend, Barbara Younger, is taking over my blog and I am proud to be showcasing her art. Make sure you read all the way to the bottom. There is a fantastic giveaway!

 

    Bee in Her Kingdom

I always wanted to be an artist. What fun to live your days swirling colors across a canvas. But since I can’t draw, and I’m good with words and stories, I spent my professional years as a librarian and then a writer and teacher. On a lark a few years ago, I took an acrylic painting class. The color swirling began!


Fruit in the Kitchen Bowl


Just for kicks, I posted some of my paintings on Facebook. I was astounded when a friend wanted to buy one. At first, I thought he was teasing. Another friend commissioned three paintings for her child therapy practice.  Another asked me to contribute paintings to a local charity auction. I sent my crazy sun to CBS Sunday Morning, and they accepted it. I was an artist by surprise.


Estrella, Happy Under the Peruvian Stars


As a writer, I know that character is everything. The story begins there. And so, when I paint, I think about the personalities of my subjects and the challenges they face. I give each painting a title that hints at the adventures to come. Here are “Ms. Bear Moves into the Oval Office” and “Penny Waits at the Station.” I always hope the beholder will imagine the rest of the story.


Ms. Bear Moves Into The Oval Office



Penny Waits at the Station


In 2019, our local historical museum commissioned my work for their upcoming antique toy exhibit. I named my collection of fourteen paintings “Toys Escaping.” Jama Kim Rattigan featured my series on Jama’s Alphabet Soup, which was a great moment for this new artist (scroll down to read the story).


    Snuggle Bunny Escapes the Nursery

At art shows and sales, kids rush over to see my paintings. Grownups like them too, especially those who collect whimsical art or folk art. I’ve now sold over 165 paintings. I’m honored to be represented at Margaret Lane Gallery in my hometown of Hillsborough, North Carolina.



I love taking on commissions. I listen carefully to understand what the person wants, and then give it my best spin. My friend Stephanie asked for a portrait of her family, each member disguised as their favorite animal.

The Animals Set Sail


I price my paintings modestly because I want my art to be affordable. I’ve donated a collection of paintings to Turtle Central, the gift shop of the Bald Head Island Conservancy. All profits go to the environmental work of the conservancy, especially the protection of sea turtles.


    Lucy Adds to Her Golf Ball Collection


This summer, I received enthusiastic comments from art editors through a course I took with the Children’s Book Academy. We’ll see if I have a career as an illustrator in my future. For now, I’m happy and still quite shocked to be an artist by surprise.


  
On the porch of Margaret Lane Gallery
Barbara is holding
"Duck Sells the Farm and Joins a Band"
photo credit David Knox


Barbara Younger is the author of twenty books for kids and adults and holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She sells her whimsical acrylics through art shows, galleries and shops, and her online presence. She lives in Hillsborough, North Carolina, with her husband Cliff.


Thanks to Carol for highlighting the work of so many wonderful illustrators and for letting me have this space to share mine. You can see more of my paintings at BarbaraKYounger.com. Connect with me on Facebook here and follow me on Instagram here. Please email me with any questions at BKYounger@gmail.com.

GIVEAWAY 

Barbara is giving away her painting, “Bee in Her Kingdom” (10" by 10")! To enter, leave me a comment by 6 PM on February 19. MAKE SURE you leave me your email address if you are new to my blog. For an extra chance, please share this on social media. Let me know what you do. 




 

 

23 comments:

Susan McArtor Bellinger said...

I am the happy owner of Duck leaves the farm... and it always makes me smile.
Barbara has a gift for the whimsical and her happy paintings bring a big smile to the faces of all those who see them.

Carol Baldwin said...

I love that painting, Susan. It makes me smile too! Thanks for stopping by. I'll start the giveaway list with your name.

Theresa Milstein said...

These are adorable! Each one made me smile.

Danielle H. said...

I love her art! It's so bright and fun--her work makes me smile and I would love to hang her work in my office for a cheery greeting every day. I shared on tumblr: https://yesreaderwriterpoetmusician.tumblr.com/post/643380780996984832/an-artist-by-surprise-a-guest-post-by-barbara

Linda Jaubert said...

I have a painting by Barbara of a wolf in a magical forest. Wolfie has a place of honor in my living room. Linda Jaubert

Linda Jaubert said...

I am the proud owner of Wolf in a Magical Forest, which has a place of honor in my ivingroom. Barbara has a real gift.

Carol Gwin Nelson said...

These painting are so much fun. The colors and subjects brightened my snowy, foggy day!

Carol Baldwin said...

Thank you Carol, LInda, Susan, Danielle (who is in twice), and Theresa. Yes. They do make us all smile!!! Which we all need these days.

Unknown said...

As a longtime fan of her Mom's art, I've enjoyed watching Barbara develop her own style and watching that style evolve! All the while she captures the whimsy she and her Mom were known for. It's also been fun to participate in her crowd sourcing of suggestions and opinions when she posts works in progress!
Please enter me in the drawing and look for my shared post at https://www.facebook.com/claire.ritterhoff

Carol Baldwin said...

Thank you Claire, for commenting and sharing. YOu're in twice. Carol

Barbara Younger said...

Thanks, everyone, for your lovely comments. The painting has been a blast. I've got lots to learn, that's for sure. I just washed off a mermaid's hair because it looked weird. Hope I can get her hair right, but thank you again! You spur me on...

Carol Baldwin said...

I'm glad we gave so many people smiles today!

Angela Turner said...

I love your bright paintings Barbara. I definitely could see your work as picture book illustrations.

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, ANgela. I love Barbara's use of colors too!

Barbara Younger said...

Thank you, Angela. I need to challenge myself to paint sometimes in muted tones, but I can't seem to resist choosing the bright ones.

Joan Y. Edwards said...

Dear Barbara,
I am so happy or you and excited that your art is selling and people have commissioned you to do a painting for them. I love the family portrait as the favorite animals. So cool.


Believe in You
Never Give Up
Joan

Carol Baldwin said...

I like that one too, Joan!

Lisa Doan said...

Fantastic paintings, Barb!

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks for stopping by, Lisa!

Unknown said...

Holy, moly, Barbara! That's a LOT of paintings you've completed. It would be so cool if you get into illustration.

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks for posting a comment, "Unknown." If you want to be considered in the drawing, you need to leave me your email address. Thanks for tsopping by. Carol

etta wilson said...

Etta Wilson said . . .Talent in both writing and painting is rare--and Barbara has both. So great to see her work here.

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Etta, for stopping by!

Stompin' at the Savoy: A Nonfiction Picture Book Review and Giveaway

 Congratulations to Joan Edwards who won Barbara Younger's painting from last week's blog. The other day I received a stack of books...