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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

Happy New Year

January 04, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

I'm afraid 2020 was driven out of town like no other year before. I don't remember ever having a year so soundly accused of being Horrible. Being that what it is, here's wishing you and yours a very profitable and healthy new year.

MILKWEED PODSMILKWEED PODSmy favorite weeds are the milkweed pods. They're also a good plant for the Monarch butterflies. Peaceful






HIKING THE GRAND MESA: CLEMENTINE FINDS A HORNY TOADHIKING THE GRAND MESA: CLEMENTINE FINDS A HORNY TOADfrom the children's book Hiking the Grand Mesa, a children's book by Kyle Torke and Barbara Torke. The children's adventures on the clay hills at the base of Grand Mesa, Delta County, Colorado.

Clementine is beginning a new adventure. It's just the beginning. Ice Breaking, and Hiking the Grand Mesa are the adventures already available for children on Amazon and LovingHealingPress. by Kyle Torke and illustrated by Barbara Torke.


2020 is almost Over

December 15, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

It has been an interesting year. I've learned a lot, and tried a lot of new things. I am teaching classes on Zoom, once a week, and accepting any challenge that presents itself. I was asked if I have goals for 2021, and indeed I do. One is to get finished some of the goals I set for 2020. There is a third children's book to complete. There is an art show to get ready. I always have a poem to write, a painting to complete, a plan to implement. 

Until 2021, have as pleasant and happy a Christmas as you can under the circumstances. Learn something new every day, and try something new every day. Even if it's a new recipe, or a new website. I suggest being thankful for what we have. And grateful for the good things coming. They will get here, even if it takes a while.

WHOSE JOB IS IT NOW?WHOSE JOB IS IT NOW?these horses look down on a dilapidated truck. Back to work for them, I guess. 13" x 17" watercolor telling a story about life in western Colorado

Lazy Days in July

July 09, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

Lazy Days in July is hardly happening. Being home is busier than ever. What was unusual is now an every day occurrence. A mask seems normal. This is, then, the new normal. If I look to a future, I realize it will be different than I ever believed possible. Setting priorities, and creating projects, all seems very important now. I have been making masks for friends and others. I teach over the internet, on Zoom. There is the new book, coming along slowly, and all kinds of personal quests. Too many, it sometimes seems. 

On July 24 the Book Launch for Don Benjamin is the happening at the Grand Mesa Arts and Entertainment Center. With concerns about social distancing it has been delayed until now. I will have copies of the second Clementine book for sale. Don has been very generous in sharing the experience with others. If you are in the area drop by. It will be a managed social gathering. Lots of good reads.

The following week the GMAEC is having a fundraiser on site as well as on line. I have three pieces for sale in their ReFind Gallery.  a Cats for Klimt Chair, an Aspen Seasons table/box, and a High Desert Shadowbox. Check all these activities out at the Grand Mesa Arts and Entertainment website, and on Facebook. There is a lot of amazing Art and Imagination to see and purchase.

Have a marvelous rest of the summer. Learn something new every day. Find new ways to live. Make art. CATS AFTER KLIMTCATS AFTER KLIMTThe Kiss is interpreted with the cats in mind. This is for the 2020 Refind show in June and July, until August for the GMAEC in Cedaredge Colorado TOP OF SEASONS OF ASPEN BOXTOP OF SEASONS OF ASPEN BOXShowing two sides of box and top. The other two sides are summer and spring.GMAEC Refine show and sale June through August , 2020 HIGH DESERT SHADOW BOXHIGH DESERT SHADOW BOXWooden shadowbox painted with acrylic paints. 13x17x4 is available online at the REFIND online art show for the Grand Mesa Arts and Entertainment Center. Find them on Facebook or on-line.

I have Pandemic fatigue. How about you?

May 24, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

This spring has gone by as usual Colorado springs go. Oops. I wake up and summer is here. Grasshoppers, warm weather, and pandemic. I wish the pandemic was a season. But it's not, and I am learning solitude, mindfulness, and developing somewhat creative ways to communicate I can. It isn't all bad. It's good for us to have to create, even if we fight it, as we creatives sometimes do. If being an artist were that easy, then everyone would be one. Right?

I've made masks for Hospice. I'm finishing up the Grand Mesa Arts and Entertainment Center's contribution. Some samples can be be seen at the bottom of the Recent art folder. There is the newest Clementine book, working title the Beachcombers. I love all the projects. Then there's the yard. 

The newest project is classes through Zoom. What fun that is going to be. I'll keep you posted if you're interested. The topics will vary, depending on student desires, and the seat-of-the-pants way new learning curves go. Mostly easy composition skills, and value.

My latest work is for, and from the internal workings of the hidden brush. Self-Portrait.



Cats After Klimt: The Kiss - prototype for the chair, GMAEC

THE KISS CATS AFTER KLIMTTHE KISS CATS AFTER KLIMTGustav Klimt is so rich and decorative in his style. It is so much fun it put cats in the lover's place.

And last 'Bronze Aspen' - one of those tailings from the end of a painting session.




Welcoming spring

May 17, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

What else can we do? Looking forward to mounds of daffodils and hopefully apple  blossoms. Spring is almost behind me.

Great news. Kyle and my second book is available, Hiking the Grand Mesa is another Clementine adventure. This adventure is in the dobies at the foot of the Grand Mesa, and beyond. Geared for the young, 5-8 year-old's, it follows the adventures of Clem, the  rescue dog, and her boys as they climb through the adobe hills and the Grand Mesa. Hiking the Grand Mesa is available at Amazon, or at LovingHealingPress.  Our publisher, Victor Volkman, is terrific to work with. Kyle, as always, is my super Son, and the adorable Clem and her adorable boys, make it fun to illustrate their adventures.  Enjoy. 



CLEMENTINE: HIKING THE GRAND MESACLEMENTINE: HIKING THE GRAND MESAthe back cover of Hiking the Grand Mesa. It includes information of the book and other details. With the uncertainty of our planet's health, and ours, I have been painting to the interior. 'The Kiss' is a loose reference to Gustav Klimt, as will be the Reinventions for the Grand Mesa Art and Entertainment Center here in Cedaredge. Hopefully I'll have photos to share of my contributions soon. 

THE KISSTHE KISSAN ABSTRACT STUDY OF ACRYLIC, USING TEXTURE AND LAYERS Until then, stay safe. Create. Remember, Isaac Newton was discovering gravity while staying at home during the Spanish Flu epidemic. So go ahead. Create and discover.