Barbara Torke | Blog

Welcome to Barb's Blog.

I will post weekly (or nearly) some of my opinions, insights, ideas, and adventures about art, travel, plein aire, pastel, and whatever's happening. Join me, feel free to add comments, follow along as I paint and write and explore


August 16, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Living the Life Show is down. The current show at the Grand Mesa Arts and Events Center features Arleta Pech. .She is an amazing still-life painter in the Baroque style. Her opening is Saturday the 18th of August from 5-7. I hope you can drop by and see her showing in the Starr Family Gallery.

GMAEC KIDS DO FANCIFUL CREATURESGMAEC KIDS DO FANCIFUL CREATURES Young artists participated in the acrylic painting class at the Grand Mesa Arts and Events Center on August 15. What great fun we had painting fantastic creatures. What great kids, and so involved in their art. I was honored to be their instructor. GMAEC KIDS PAINT FANCIFUL CREATURESGMAEC KIDS PAINT FANCIFUL CREATURES Maryellen is finishing up in Cedaredge and soon to be on her way to Florida. A final yard sale this next week Friday Aug. 24 8-2, and Sat. 9-noon. She is getting rid of everything. Lots of great buys, since everything must go. 180 NE 4th St. Unit A, Cedaredge. Don't forget us. I won't forget her.

This year has been, so far, a year of beginnings and endings. The art center is a great addition to our little town, and blossoming increasingly. Maryellen leaves to continue her art in Florida, ending a twenty year friendship and business history that was great fun. Bittersweet, this passing of an era. I'll miss her.

The drought makes gardening a past activity. Being a farm girl makes this a hard one to let go. I guess I'll just paint cabbages.

New friends and activities are keeping me busy. I've been working on acrylic painting. I have books to illustrate.

Oh rats, I'm nostalgic.


a couple of my acrylics, and get on with the next adventure. 


Art Forum Wednesday August 8, 3-4:30 pm

August 06, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

From the Grand Mesa Arts and Events Center, a note from Deborah.

Please join us for the first in a series of Art Forums. We will be closing each gallery show with a conversation with the artists. We will cover art principles, design, process, techniques and some art  history. It will be an open format with lively discussion. Look forward to seeing you!!!


Daphna and I will be discussing the process that became these particular  four sculptures and paintings. We welcome all questions. We welcome all feedback. Since she is a three-dimensional artist (sculptor), and I am a two-dimensional artist (painter), we will try to relate the process to either area. It should be interesting. Daphna and I have discussed art before, and we both have lots to say. I'm expecting an insightful and thought-provoking event.

please reply to if you are attending. It is by invitation. Hope to see you there.


Angel with a Harp by Daphna Russell (porcelein) Angel with a harp porcelain by DAPHNA RUSSELLAngel with a harp porcelain by DAPHNA RUSSELL PEACOCKS EYEPEACOCKS EYEMixed media on canvas with oil paints Peacock's Eye by Barbara Torke (mixed media)

Sunday at the Lake by Barbara Torke (pastel)    Water Horse by Daphna Russell (sculpture)

SUNDAY AT THE LAKESUNDAY AT THE LAKEIn the 1920s Jackson Lake was a great place for a Sunday picnic Water Horse by DAPHNA RUSSELLWater Horse by DAPHNA RUSSELL


July 13, 2018  •  Leave a Comment


With the retrospective show and opening of the new center, change surrounds me. It is so exciting to have the Grand Mesa Arts and Events Center blooming. Main Street, Cedaredge, is hopping. There are new (and fairly new) galleries, restaurants, coffee shops and bustling activity on Grand Mesa Drive and Main Street. 

I'm thrilled to be a little part of it, as I show a cross-section of my work from the past, and a touch of the new. Plus, there is a hiccup of the past as I teach kids about art - again. That happens this next week. Then Daphna Russell and I will do a Forum on creating art. We each have our own way of approaching a piece. It will be an interesting glimpse into the artist's mind. More info to come.

The Center has concerts, party bookings, classes in art for kids, yoga, dance, song writing and a broad spectrum of community activities. I missed a bunch, so check out their website

It is poignant, this change. MaryEllen Miller is leaving this fall for Florida. Next week she'll be selling art supplies and equipment that she can't take back with her. She has some beautiful paintings, too. If you need art supplies and are in the area, check out my website for more information. The moving sale is July 20-21. I will miss her, again. 




MaryEllen Miller - Collage Trees



It has made me restless. What do I do Next? Maybe I'm supposed to quit painting at my age? How many paintings do I have left in me? 100? A 1000?

Since I have projects lined up for quite a while, there is no way I'll retire. But I might start doing some different art. It always happens that I decide to get rid of some medium - and by the time I get it in the box I decide to do more - of whatever. I boxed up acrylics last month. Oops.

I have lots of art I've not framed, or marketed, or shown. I go through it occasionally and discard, or more likely, rearrange. I go back and re-work pieces. I worry about my kids having to deal with this stash, but recently I've decided they will have to. I'm not ready to delete all my work - yet. 

Here are two new pieces. 


'Horny Toad' a possible watercolor for one of two illustrating projects HORNY TOADHORNY TOADpossible illustration for a new book I'm illustrating

'Cat Tails' Acrylic and collage

CAT TAILSCAT TAILScollage and acrylic 18 x 14

Everything changes.

Nothing stays the same.

We only have today. Tomorrow never gets to be anything but today, and yesterday is over. So with that I'm off to explore the next painting I'll do, and the next, and the next.

You, too, take today and make Art. 


Opening Reception for Living the Life

June 17, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Living the Life

Saturday Evening, June 23, at 6 P.M. there will be an Artist's Reception at the Grand Mesa Arts and Events Center at 195 W. Main Street in Cedaredge, Colorado, for Barbara Torke and Daphna Russell. Their show Living the Life, will be at the new Art Center through July. They are honored to have this opportunity, and the community is so lucky to have this new venue. A gorgeous  job of restoring and transforming the building. It is truly a treasure.

The reception is by invitation. Please respond to if you plan to attend. I will put you on the list. I will also have the list if you forget. Otherwise - print out the card. I really hope to see you there.


Daphna Russell and Barbara Torke at the GMAEC

June 10, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Daphna and I will be at the Grand Mesa Arts and Events Center from June 15 through July for our show Living the Life. We hope you can come to the events surrounding the show