Barbara McDevitt
Ancestral Slate ~ Decorative Art
~ House & Pet Portraits ~
My Magical Carousels
~ Welcome Plaques & Signs ~
Have an idea?  Just ask.

I have had an interest in painting since early childhood, fascinated by watercolors and loving
works of oil on canvas, especially seascapes.   After being giving the gift of encouragement in a
beginner oil painting set my love of creating with paint developed.    The first nervous trials were
comical and crude.  Very interested in minor details I would fuss and worry over those first small
paintings on canvas paper and board.  Realizing the cost of the gift that had been presented to
me in that small beginner's set of oils and brushes, I decided to get educated in creating beautiful
pieces in oils.

Early in the 1970's sitting with the local telephone book searching for art instruction I selected to
study with the Art Students League of Marblehead, Massachusetts and was fortunate to have
mostly private lessons with artist Kenneth Horowitz.  Ken was an accomplished artist with many
commissioned paintings in his portfolio.  The lessons were tedious for an undisciplined person
such as myself.   For the first 6 weeks only pencil drawings were done until the student could
create a black & white copy of any photograph with paper and pencil that was very close to the
original.    These tedious studies are what have given me the ability to copy a photograph in
creating house & pet portraits.

When finally 'allowed' to move on, the first oil on canvas took 6 months and is a very pretty
painting of a covered bridge in Pennsylvania copied from a small photograph on a calendar.    
These lessons taught the student how important it is to include in the painting items that cannot
be seen with the naked eye but are known to be there.   In this 6 month period the student was
also able to grasp a knowledge and understanding of the importance of an under painting, and
when to stop working on a painting and calling it complete.   Moving from the covered bridge to
seascapes taught me to appreciate the skills of a truly fine artist in the ability to put on canvas a
living-moving object like the ocean or a moving stream.  After some time when it was
determined, (by Horowitz, not me), that I had enough completed studies good enough for a
showing.  Instead I choose to wait until I felt more accomplished.

Although no longer working with other artists I continued to expand my experiences with
mediums and textures.  After being given yards and yards of New England roofing slate it was
time to make some of my paintings available for sale.  This is when the craft painting began.   
Inexperienced in showing at craft shows and fairs I then jumped into the opportunity to gain
some income from my love.   With the help of good friends I brought my work out to more and
more local craft shows.   At one of these shows I was flattered after being approached by a shop
owner from the White Mountain area of New Hampshire soliciting craft artisans to stock his retail
shop.   From there with a growing number of new friends in the craft industry I was able to
continue to learn more and more of what the buying public was looking for.

Always in the back of my mind was the dream of owning my own studio/gallery to be able to
spend days on end painting.   In 1993 an opportunity arose to at least own my craft consignment
shop.   Since I had been selling in these shops for some time, paying rent for display space or
paying a consignment fee, it seemed a good step toward my own studio/gallery.  With my
wonderful older sister Nancy graciously agreeing to take care of the shop during the day at first I
continued to work full time while the consignment shop took wing.   Renting display space to
quality artisans from all fields and at the same time having my own work displayed was a
wonderfully fertile ground.   After 6 months of operation I quit my full time job and found a part
time position that would be less draining on time and energies enabling me to spend more time
in my own shop and more time for my own painting.  Those half dozen years were probably my
most content.

I no longer own my little shop and although back to work for others full-time I still paint and teach
decorate art techniques.  From 1999 through 2001 most of my sales had been through eBay
auctions or word of mouth.  I seldom do fairs or shows these days but still go off to another world
each time I work with my paints.  In April of 2008 after being encouraged to place my work for
sale on the Internet to a wider audience I found Fine Art America.  I had my first sale there within
the first couple of months and continue to be very happy with  the results of remaining a member.

Visit the
Found Here page of this site to see where my work is currently available for you to see
or purchase in the Greater Boston or Cape Cod area.  I am always looking for new places to
display and/or sell my work so if you know of an interesting place that may be interested please
send me a note.
The artist