Barbara Heile studied painting and received degrees (BA76 and MFA82) at American University in Washington, D.C. during a time when the faculty was still grounded and sensitive to the tradition of painting as embodied by artists who worked in a visual and refined expressive process.  

She works primarily in oil and cold wax and began exploring acrylics in 2022.

Any medium that affords her a visual and painterly way into relationship with what she is feeling - and open to seeing - is her path.

Her approach is truly Aquarian in nature. Her work is original and she is open to the new; honoring of tradition she is not held by it. In earlier years the landscape had her full attention. This gave way to her interest in the abstract surface for its own sake, as expressive paint. The inner landscape of her felt sense is at present her main subject where new shapes come into painted form.  

The paintings express joy and freedom and a depth of stillness through the healing qualities of color and light.

The directness and spontaneity of her approach, often using her hand directly to move the paint, can be felt in the surface and in the free interplay of color. She sees her way of painting as a path of expressive contemplation and is grateful for this way of loving the world as a visual artist.

Barbara has been actively showing in group and one person shows since the early 1980‘s and is a familiar face among artists in Rappahannock County. She enjoyed three years teaching Drawing and Painting at Lord Fairfax Community College in Warrenton, VA. Until its closing in 2015, she kept an active and open studio at River District Arts in Sperryville  Her daily studio work now takes place at home.

Her natural call to painting supports her wish to share the experience of the mystery we all live in as human beings. A lifelong meditation practice supports the silent depth you can experience in even her smallest paintings. Her paintings have found homes around the world.

Being the mother of three independent and creative sons, raised in Rappahannock County, is by far her most rewarding life experience.

Barbara keeps an active diary of her work in progress on Instagram @bheileart      ~~~thank you for looking! ~~~