Barb believes creating art is not a job or profession…. it’s a calling. Throughout her life, despite ups and downs, the one constant has been a desire to create art. Not necessarily for the public but to satisfy an inspiration which she believes comes directly from her soul.
“I believe in the healing power of art. Both for me as the artist and for the right person viewing the piece. One person looks at a painting and sees an interesting picture but another person sees something that triggers a lost memory or a feeling that warms their heart. In many ways, art can heal the wounds of a lifetime.” – Barb Callaghan
Although new to the world of publicly displayed art, Barb Callaghan has always been an artist at heart. Transitioning through various jobs and careers, she always had artistic outlets, such as photography, sketching, pottery and more.
During a stay in Ottawa, working at a long term care facility, Barb assisted in an art therapy program. She loved seeing how rewarding and beneficial it was for seniors. She worked one-on-one with patients using art to help their recovery and/or quality of life.
After taking the expressive arts program at SSFC in Haliburton, Barb incorporated the techniques and her experience into a business working one -on-one with seniors. She believes expressing oneself through art, whether it is painting, drawing, sculpting, writing, movement, music, storytelling or acting, is beneficial to one’s’ soul.
In 2011, Barb was involved in an accident that changed her life. It was during this healing time dealing with pain, fatigue, stress etc. that she started waking up with clear images from her dreams. The same images were showing up over and over again. Even stranger was having the word “paint” and “ Do some art” pop into her mind constantly throughout the day.
At this point, what she had always thought of as a hobby, turned into a full fledged calling. It was as if her soul was ordering her to pull out her paints and get busy!
She set up a small studio at home, signed up for a few refresher courses online, and began painting when she could. She learned to balance the needs of her calling with the needs of her body.
Barb refers to her art as being “soul inspired”. She describes how many of her pieces are inspired by a dream or a recurring image that sticks with her for weeks, months or even years. The image won’t go away until she gets it onto a canvas or paper. Sometimes the image is relevant to her personal life but often it’s an image that conveys a message for someone else.
In 2014, Barb’s niece Jess Callaghan passed away unexpectedly. Within days an image appeared to Barb which showed Jess with her grandmother in heaven. That image became a beautiful new painting (sorry, that one is not for sale).
A few months later, Jess’ image was back in Barb’s mind along with the song “Dance with my father” by Luther Vandross. This image became the inspiration for another beautiful painting which she gave to her brother John, Jess’ father.
Today, Barb spends most days in her small studio in Lindsay, Ontario. She is on a journey of discovery, experimenting and learning different painting techniques. Barb enjoys working with acrylics, watercolours, inks and mixed media and is inspired by the beauty and love of nature and her travels in Canada, Ireland and Europe. The images that come from her dreams and/or are soul inspired are always surprising and freeing as they seem to come out of nowhere.
Powered by her calling and inspired by her soul; she creates art that sometimes can help people heal the wounds of a lifetime.