Paintings

My gouache paintings ( a kind of opaque watercolor similar to tempera paint) are done on watercolor paper using a wide range of brilliant color and themes from everyday life, stories, myths, and world literature. I have always been interested in illustration, and I love the “Naif” style of art popular in Eastern Europe and rural China. I have joined an international group of Naive painters who market their work all over the world.

Masks

The masks are made from a variety of fabrics- some vintage pieces, and some scraps of silk, velvet, brocade, or ethnic cloth- whatever is appropriate to the design and theme of the piece. The fabric covers a base made from papier mache, and the little character dolls are made by hand from polymer clay, leather, fabric, and lace or ribbon, and inspired by literature, traditional stories, paintings, and folk tales.

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About Barb

toscaI am a native of Montana, born in Billings in 1953. I attended the University of New Mexico, and graduated in 1975 with a degree in English Literature. I returned to Montana and began to paint and to make textile art. In 1986 I received my teaching certification from Rocky Mountain College in Billings. I moved to Missoula in 1987, where I have continued to make art and show it at different places around the country and internationally. I lived in Beijing, China for two years, where I made art, and spent time researching several different kinds of rapidly vanishing Chinese folk art techniques.
My fetish dolls have been featured in several magazines and in four books about unusual techniques in doll making, and about polymer clay. My paintings have been used by several local groups as posters to promote their projects. I decorated a bear for the Grizzly Prowl campaign and a big horn sheep for the Billings Depot’s Bighorn Magic Project. In Beijing I also designed posters and brochures for an NGO which promotes human rights. I continue to make small sculptures, gouache paintings, dolls, and jewelry, and have recently started to do encaustic paintings.

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