Abstract painter Anne Barkley balances the demands of life on a farm in Eastern Ontario with the call of her art studio. The tranquil setting of Williamsburg is home to the artist and her husband. The kids are grown and Anne is busy juggling shows in Toronto, Ottawa, New York and Florence Italy.

Anne started painting in 1998 and is now an elected member of the Society of Canadian Artists.  Her simple but strong shapes and deft use of colour invite us to find personal meaning and connect with the spirit of the shapes and figures she creates.

Anne’s painting of a lemon for the Absolut Lemon competition at The Artist Project in Toronto won second place. She has a great eye for the subtleties of colour and shading. This striking piece is now available at the Wellington Street Art Gallery in Toronto. See it and others by Anne here.

Anne is fascinated with shapes and the human form. She often injects people into her work.

“I think every room and every painting should have some red in it,” says Anne.

She began her career as an artist painting portraits. Anne says, “the more you get into it the looser and looser your work gets. You’re almost a photocopier when you first start out. As you learn and see more it all becomes intuitive.” The thrill for Ann is really in the process of creating a painting. While she spends a lot of time thinking about each painting, she insists, “it has to be exciting for me or I start over again.” The National Gallery in Ottawa is only an hour away and always seems to provide her with inspiration. This weekend, Anne is at an artists’ retreat in Tweed. It’s an opportunity to immerse herself in the art world and exchange ideas with friends in the business.

I love the dreamy mix of blues and greys in these paintings.

Sometimes Anne integrates a figure into the background. And sometimes it takes centre stage. If you’re interested in seeing more of Anne’s work, check out her website here. On June 2, a two person show called Transcendence Revisited New Works by Anne Barkley and Serafino Catallo begins at Leonardo Gallery in Toronto. It runs until June 25th.