Barbara Stahler: Artist Statement
I was born and bred in Brookline, a suburb of Boston, Massachusetts. I began to paint in earnest at the age of 13. My inspiration in my younger years was my Uncle Nathan who was also an artist. He emigrated to the States from Poland at the beginning of the 20th century. Nathan always remarked that painting was an avocation that could serve one well even through late adulthood. I once gave him several of my paintings as a gift to choose from. He was very whimsical and chose the one I titled “My dream.” My other inspiration in my early years was my adopted Aunt Natalie. She was my mom’s best friend from boarding school. She was the coolest lady- she was an artist, a dancer, a singer, and a poet. I miss both my Great Uncle Nathan and Aunt Natalie very much.
For years my medium has been watercolor. Several years ago I started using pastels and colored pencils as well. I went to the Boston University School of Fine Arts for one and a half years and then I returned to Brandeis University to pursue courses to prepare me for art conservation graduate school from which I graduated in 1984. I then went off to Nicaragua during the Sandinista revolution from 1984-1989. My first job was as conservator at the National Museum in Managua, then I did not continue with art conservation
When I returned to the States in 1989, I worked as a Spanish medical interpreter for 20 years. I lived in northern and southern California for 8 years and then Ann Arbor, Michigan for 20. I returned to Boston in 2017 to be near my family. In the summer of 2022, I moved to Kittery in southern Maine.
I love to paint. I love the vibrant colors and I love to express my views and feelings through the painted medium. My political activism is also very important to me and I often like to express political themes in my art.