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Barbara Lewis in front of her portrait of Hon. John Fullam at the Michener Art Museum, 2014.

"I feel it is important to paint a variety of subjects, including landscapes and still life genres, but increasingly I paint portraits in oil. There is such beauty and depth to peoples'faces and it is a constant challenge to first capture what I see and then convey it successfully to the viewer."
-Barbara H. Lewis

Barbara H. Lewis has lived and worked as a professional artist in Bucks County since 1985. She has studied with many well-known artists including Nelson Shanks, Daniel Greene, Michael Shane Neal, and Frank Arcuri. She received her bachelors degree from Trinity College in 1977 and her post-baccalaureate from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1999. Lewis also trained at Studio Incamminati in Philadelphia during the early 2000s, a studio established and run by Nelson Shanks.

Lewis believes in classical training. She states, "it takes years drawing and painting from life to develop the skills needed to see and then translate onto a two-dimensional surface the nuances of value and color, proportion, perspective, structure and composition. One can expand creatively on a good foundation." She paints principally in oil with a painterly realist style, sometimes using photographs as a reference tool,but more often bringing her own vision and experience to a work. The emphasis on light emerging from shadow, or chiaroscuro, is an important part of her work and is especially evident in her still lifes and portraits. In many ways, she finds her artistic endeavors to be like a spiritual journey.

As previously mentioned, most of her work consists of still life and landscape paintings, however, she finds herself increasingly devoting time to portraiture. Her portrait commission highlights include: Bucks County Court of Common Pleas Judges (The Honorables John P. Fullam, Edmund V. Ludwig, Leonard B. Sokolove, Clyde W. Waite, Paul R.Beckert, Isaac S. Garb, Daniel J. Lawler, Ward F. Clark, Kenneth G. Biehn, and Harriet Mims) and others. Ten of her portraits were included in a 2015 exhibition at the Michener Art Museum entitled, A Judicial Legacy: Portraits from the Bucks County Courts Collection.

Lewis exhibits her still life and landscape paintings in solo shows at the Travis Gallery in New Hope and the Toro Gallery in Huntingdon Valley. Her work has appeared in numerous group shows at the Salmagundi Club in New York City, the Pennsylvania State Museum in Harrisburg, the Woodmere Art Museum, and other venues.

Barbara Lewis in front of her portrait of Hon. John Fullam at the Michener Art Museum, 2014.

Education & Community

Education & Training:
BA Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, 1977
Portrait Study with Michael Shane Neal, 2009; Daniel Green, 1997
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1996-1999; Post-Baccalaureate in 1999, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Studio Incamminati, Nelson Shanks Professional Atelier, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2002-2003, 2010-2013

Teachers & Influences:
Teachers: Nelson Shanks, Michael Shane Neal, Daniel Green, Frank Arcuri
Influences: Franz Hals, Rembrandt, Philip de Lazlo, John Singer Sargent, Thomas Eakins

Connection to Bucks County:

Lewis has lived and worked in Bucks County since 1985.

Affiliations & Memberships:
Portrait Society of America
American Artist Professional League, Fellows Member
Oil Painters of America
Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club Center for Emerging Visual Artists, formerly Creative Artists Network, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
New Hope Art League, New Hope, Pennsylvania


Major Solo Exhibitions:
Travis Gallery, New Hope, Pennsylvania, 2004; Featured Artist 1999, 2001, 2002
Toro Gallery, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, 2001, 2002

Select Group Exhibitions:
Hahn Gallery, Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania, 1997
Art of the State, Juried Exhibition, Pennsylvania State Museum, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 1999
Spring, Fall and Winter Group Shows, Creative Artists Network, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2000 and 2001
Artists House Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2000, 2002
Annual Juried Exhibitions, Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1999, 2001, 2002
Rowan University Exhibit, Glassboro, New Jersey, February, 2001
Defined and Inspired, Swan Gallery, Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, 2006
Juried Exhibition, Coryell Gallery, New Hope, Pennsylvania, 2007
Bucks County Gallery of Fine Art, New Hope, Pennsylvania, 2010
Patricia Hutton Gallery, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, 2012
118th Annual Open Juried Exhibition, Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club, New York, New York, 2014
Annual Juried Exhibitions, Philadelphia Sketch Club, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2000, 2007, 2014
National Juried Shows, American Artists Professional League, New York, New York, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2012, 2013, 2014
A Judicial Legacy: Portraits from the Bucks County Courts Collection, Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, 2015

Portrait Commission Highlights:
Bucks County Court of Common Pleas Judges
1st Lt. Travis Manion Memorial Portrait
Rev. Charles T. Fritsch, Princeton Theological Seminary
Robert Gilmore, CEO, Gilmore & Associates, New Britain, Pennsylvania
Sister Charity, Founding Administrator, CORA Services, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Dr. James Johnson, Principal, Sabold School, Springfield, Pennsylvania

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