CVG Show: Barbara Wilson

Barbara Wilson in her Bainbridge Island home studio.

Barbara Wilson

Next time you’re in Poulsbo’s That’s a Some Italian Restaurant, check out the mural of the two monks with wine barrels in the dining room. Barbara Wilson painted that. The Bainbridge Island artist has painted a few murals in the area.

When Wilson speaks, her accent gives testimony to the fact that she lived 39 years in Great Britain before moving to the states in 1997. In England she attended the Norwich University College of the Arts, then transferred to Goldsmiths University in London.

Although she studied art she says she worked in accounting for 20 years after college. In 1997 her computer programmer husband took a job in the states and the family packed everything they had into a few suitcases and moved to Southern California.

After a very short stint in the south, Wilson moved up to the picturesque, mural-thirsty wine country of Sonoma County. The wine country must have put her back in touch with her desire to paint, because in Sonoma she began painting murals. She said business was booming there, and she often had a three-month waiting list for her work. Wilson spent six years in Northern California before settling in Bainbridge after the bank her husband worked for in California was taken over by WaMu.

She’s found the mural business slower here, perhaps because of the slow economy, but her work is still visible on walls throughout the peninsula. She has one in Moses Lake and a couple up in Canada, as well.

Besides murals, she’s been inspired to paint Seattle cityscapes on canvases in her garage studio. “I’m attracted to the lights and reflections,” she says. “I like the movement and the feeling of the rain.”

Her cityscapes really capture the filtered light of a rainy day in the city. And recently one of her paintings also captured the grand prize at a national contest sponsored by the Daniel Smith art supply company. Wilson says her art won the grand prize out of 3,000 artists’ submissions.

Winning the Smith prize and getting into the CVG Show was a big boost for Wilson. “Every year I feel I’ll get a little bit farther ahead. It’s tough because there’s a lot of really good artists out there,” she says.

In March 2009, Wilson also had art hanging at the Bainbridge Arts and Crafts Group Show; the same month, she had a one-woman show at the  Adobe Gallery in Fremont.

You can view some of her work at

During February, The Artful Blogger will talk with some of the artists whose work is showing in the Collective Visions Gallery’s annual show. The show runs from Feb. 2 to Feb. 27. That doesn’t give enough time to highlight all the artists involved, but I will do my best to reach as many as possible. If you have any suggestions for The Artful Blogger, you can reach me at

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