Barbara Newcomb B.F.A., R.E.
A Brief Biography
Barbara was born in Arlington, Virginia and educated in the USA. After graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree with Distinction from Syracuse University in New York, Barbara came to the U.K. She immediately fell in love with England, declaring it to be the most beautiful country in the world.
From then on and despite her travels to Europe and the far east, she has concentrated, in her landscape work, on capturing the unique character of the English countryside.
Although trained as a painter and illustrator, once she discovered the versatility and flexibility of etching, she began to work exclusively as a print maker in this medium. Having trained at the Central School (later Central St. Martin's) in London, under Tony Harrison, Barbara then went to work with the 20th Century's most famous print maker, Bill Hayter at his studio in Paris, the celebrated Atelier 17.
Barbara returned to London in the late 1960's and her work quickly gained recognition. She was taken up by many of the newest galleries and agents dealing in limited editions of contemporary prints.
Her sell-out exhibition at the National Theatre in London led to large commisions from Japanand Australia as well as the USA. In addition, for 17 years Barbara produced editions which shesold to the several agents who handled her work.
Barbara always carried out the drawing and every stage of the etching of the plates herself. In the printing process, great care had to be taken with the mixing of the many colours and in applying just the right amount of ink to each plate. Barbara always worked together with her husband to take every print individually. Each print is given its own edition number and is signed by the artist.
Barbara ended her involment with etching at a quite natural juncture when she and her husband bought and ran a restaurant in London in 1987. However, she kept safely the few prints remaining in the many editions which had been printed. Recently, a renewed interest in her earlier work has resulted in these prints being offered for sale.
In 1989 Barbara began making monoprints (single prints rather than editions). The subjects were mainly seascapes, flowers and landscapes and only a few of these remain. However, Barbara is always searching for the subjects that will reflect her deep involvement with the energy that we find in all of life: the movement of the clouds and sea and grasses, the rhythm and grace of Fred Astaire's dancing and the commitment and drive of the athlete and the sports - person.
Since 2009, working in monoprint, Barbara has revisited an interest which she had explored in her etchings in the early 1970's - the athlete. Examples of these can be seen on this website.
Barbara's work was chosen for inclusion in the New Hall Art Collection, Murray Edwards College, Cambridge. This is the prestigous and largest collection of women's art in Europe.
Barbara's work is in the permanent collections of the:
Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris
Arnofini Museum, Vienna
Los Angeles County Art Museum
Library of Congress, Washington D.C.
Arts Council of Great Britain
Government Art Collection of Great Britain
and many more.
All content © Barbara Newcomb 2021