Barbara McCleary

Barbara McCleary

Profile | Statement | Biography | News Links


Barbara McCleary • News Links

"Barbara McCleary @ Mayor Heartwell's Office", LG News Link


Barbara McCleary • Profile

 

Barbara McCleary

The space between the flowers and blades of grass are just as important to Barbara McCleary as the petals themselves. The shadows behind the leaves, a glimpse of sun on a stucco wall, the doorways that lead to an open vista, all contribute to the depth of her paintings. Fearless, bold and colorful brushstrokes are accurate, yet freely interpret the light in an impressionistic manor. Her paintings are timeless, and allow the viewer to move through their spaces endlessly, and as the viewer we want to return. This richness in her paintings makes fruit seemingly edible and flowers fragrant. McCleary often surrounds herself in the fullness of nature when painting. This technique, known as plein air, allows her to experience her subject matter with all her senses, bringing them to her hand and then directly to the canvas. The result is water that reflects with a brilliant shine, and a crispness that can almost define the temperature of the air.

Barbara McCleary has made an important impact on viewers and critics alike. Her paintings have been acclaimed from coast to coast and are gaining international acknowledgment. Trained as a Scientific Illustrator, McCleary sought the details of nature in form and function. However, this matter-of-fact technique doesn't allow the expression of beauty McCleary finds in the landscape. In 1995, McCleary began painting and discovered a release of expression and artistic freedom which now ranges from lively caf� scenes to places of quiet solitude.

McCleary's paintings clearly demonstrate respect for nature and all of its beauty, and one cannot walk away from her paintings without feeling that we are part of it.

"...I like to think of my paintings as bringing my viewer along with me as I happen upon ordinary settings and discover their extraordinary beauty."

Whether we are strolling down a city sidewalk or in a country garden, McCleary's paintings help us see through the eyes of a painter, allowing us to discover the wonders of life that we may not have seen without the guidance of her canvas.


Barbara McCleary • Statement

As a student of science and nature, animal activist, photographer, and avid gardener, my paintings revolve mainly around garden and landscape subjects found in the Michigan area. I work in oil because of its creamy texture and flexible character. My work offers an impressionist's involvement with light and color along with a touch of fantasy. Most evident in my paintings are quick, relaxed brush strokes with clear, fresh, vibrant colors revealing the play of early morning or late afternoon light on natural settings. I like to think of my paintings as bringing my viewer along with me as I happen upon ordinary settings and discover their extraordinary beauty.


Barbara McCleary • Biography

EDUCATION

Extensive study at The Society of Arts and Crafts, Detroit, Michigan

Bachelor of Arts, Michigan State University, Lansing, Michigan

Master of Arts, Michigan State University, Lansing, Michigan

Study with nationally known painters including, Ann Templeton, Elizabeth Tolley, Albert Handell and Kevin MacPherson

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2016
"Toast", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan

"Everyone in the Pool", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan

"Collective Alchemy", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2015
"Everyone in The Pool", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan

LaFontsee Galleries, “Lookie Here”, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2014
LaFontsee Galleries, “Annual Fall Celebration”, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2012
LaFontsee Galleries, “25 Year Gala”, Grand Rapids, Michigan

LaFontsee Galleries, “Fresh Squeezed & Locally Grown” Douglas, Michigan

LaFontsee Galleries, “Act II”, Douglas, Michigan

Exhibition in Mayor's Suite, City Hall, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2011
LaFontsee Galleries, “Come Out and Play”, Grand Rapids, Michigan

LaFontsee Galleries, “Summer Fun”, Douglas, Michigan

LaFontsee Galleries, “Opening Celebration”, Douglas, Michigan

2007
LaFontsee Galleries, "2007-b," Three-Person Exhibition, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2004
LaFontsee Galleries, "Outlook," Grand Rapids, Michigan

Nichols Gallery, Alla Prima International Invitational, Taos, New Mexico 

LaFontsee Galleries, "Polished," Three-Person Exhibition, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Saper Galleries, Featured Artist, East Lansing, Michigan

2003
LaFontsee Galleries, "Holiday Muse," Grand Rapids, Michigan

Shriver Gallery, Alla Prima International Invitational, Taos, New Mexico

Saper Galleries, Featured Artist, East Lansing, Michigan

Hilton Head Art League, National Juried Exhibition, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

2002 
Oil Painters of America Eleventh Annual National Juried Competition

2001
Oil Painters of America Tenth Annual National Juried Exhibition of Traditional Oils, Zantman Art Galleries, Palm Desert, California

One-Woman Show, University of Michigan Hospitals, Ann Arbor, Michigan

2000 
National Juried Exhibition, Hilton Head Art League, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

New Orleans Art Association Twentieth National Juried Art Exhibition, The Bryant Gallery, New Orleans, Louisiana

One-Woman Show, University of Michigan Hospitals, Ann Arbor, Michigan 

Mini-Show, Saper Galleries, East Lansing, Michigan

1999
Seventy-first Grand National Exhibition, American Artist's Professional League, New York, New York

34th Annual National Juried Art Competition, "Dimensions 1999", Associated Artists of Winston-Salem, Inc., Milton Rhodes Galleries, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

National All Media Competition, Winter Haven, Florida

National Competition, National Society of Artists, Houston, Texas; received Fifth Place and Grumbacher Award

One-Woman Show, "Home Gallery Show"

One-Woman Show, River Walk Theater, Lansing, Michigan

National Juried Exhibition, Hilton Head Art League, Hilton Head, South Carolina

Okemos Library Annual Show, Okemos, Michigan; received Best of Show

Mother Lode National 29th Annual Art Show, Placerville, California

1998 
National Society of Artists Competition, Houston, Texas; received Second Place

Lansing Woman's Show, Lansing, Michigan

Okemos Fine Arts and Crafts Tour, Okemos, Michigan

Two-Person Show, Shiawassee Arts Council, Shiawassee, Michigan

Shiawassee Arts Council Show, Shiawassee, Michigan; received Honorable Mention

Mid-Michigan Art Guild Competition, Owosso, Michigan; received First Place and Honorable Mention

"Wyo Art," Casper, Wyoming

Two-Woman Show, "Spirit of Expression," Foster Law Firm Library

Okemos Library Annual Show, Okemos Community Church, Okemos, Michigan

1997
Michigan All Media Competition, Lansing, Michigan

Tenth Annual National Juried Exhibition, Marbleton, Georgia

Full Gallery Show, University of Michigan Hospitals Gifts of Art Program, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Fifth Annual All Media Exhibition, "The Artist's Eye", Santa Ana, California

Okemos Fine Arts and Crafts Tour, Okemos, Michigan

Mid-Michigan Art Guild Show, Owosso, Michigan 

Mid-Michigan Art Guild Show, Michigan State Library, Lansing, Michigan

1996
Holiday Art Market, Lansing Art Gallery, Lansing, Michigan

Michigan All Media Competition, Lansing, Michigan

HONORS AND AWARDS

1999 
Fifth Place and Grumbacher Award, National Competition, National Society of Artists, Houston, Texas 

Best of Show, Okemos Library Annual Show, Okemos, Michigan

1998
First Place and Honorable Mention, Mid-Michigan Art Guild Competition, Owosso, Michigan

Honorable Mention, Shiawassee Arts Council Show, Shiawassee, Michigan

Second place, National Society of Artists Competition, Houston, Texas

COMMISSIONS, COLLECTION AND PROJECTS

2002
Cowles House - President's Residence Michigan State University, Collection

2001
State Employee's Credit Union Corporate Commission

2000
Country Club of Lansing Commission

1999
Spartan/Bay Oil Corporate Commission

Michigan Retailers Corporate Commission

ASSOCIATIONS

Alla Prima International

Lansing Art Gallery, Lansing, Michigan

Lansing Arts Council, Lansing, Michigan

Mid-Michigan Art Guild

National Society of Artists

Oil Painters of America

Women in the Arts