Fascinating Women

Barbara Arnold - Painter - World Traveler - Entrepreneur- fun loving woman

April 14, 2021 Barbara Arnold Season 2 Episode 6
Fascinating Women
Barbara Arnold - Painter - World Traveler - Entrepreneur- fun loving woman
Chapters
Fascinating Women
Barbara Arnold - Painter - World Traveler - Entrepreneur- fun loving woman
Apr 14, 2021 Season 2 Episode 6
Barbara Arnold

Barabara Arnold - In a bid to add English to her 3 base languages she left Holland at 18 to university in Vancouver. Culture shock, determination along with her embracing the moment and its opportunities, she overcame and stayed. Set up an international horseback vacation company, with interesting business before and aft. Leapt into painting, never small stuff, she started with big expressive wall pieces.  She has found her heart in art. Our world is a bit richer for it. 

Fought cancer, lost a few soulmate dogs, had a marriage dissolve then had a new relationship blossom.   Barbara is an all-in-or-nothing kinda woman. With her infectious laugh, her lightness she is a woman you will want to meet.

About Mark Laurie - Host.
Mark has been transforming how women see themselves, enlarging their sense of sexy, expanding their confidence in an exciting adventure that is transformational photography.
http://innerspiritphotography.com

Sound Production by:
Lee Ellis  - myofficemedia@gmail.com
Reach out to Lee for your Sound Production

Barbara Arnold Bio
Barbara Arnold Art, Vancouver

http://www.barbaraarnoldart.com

Instagram: @barbaraarnoldart. 
T: 604 760 4465

Barbara was born in The Netherlands and lived in Europe until she immigrated in 1981 to Canada. She lives and works in Vancouver.

After travelling extensively throughout Europe, South, Central and North America, Africa, and Asia, as well as working in the fields of, hospitality and travel industry and in interior design and photography and as a TV host, her search for a deeper spiritual meaning led her to a career in painting. After attending courses at Emily Carr University of Art and Design, in Vancouver, B.C., in addition to private training. Barbara is working full time as a mixed media artist and has a studio on Granville Island.

In 2017 Barbara wrote a coffee table book that was published by Granville Island publishing. The book offers short stories about her travels and a glimpse into her art.
Her work has been selected for many juried exhibitions and she holds solo exhibitions every year. Numerous of Barbara’s paintings have found a home in Europe, North America and Canada

 She also teaches private and semi-private art classes. In 2019 Barbara started her Art Fashion & Decor featuring Cashmere and Silk Scarves, decorative pillow covers featuring her artwork. Recently she added face masks to the collection and paints hand painted one-of-a-kind cards to send to that special person.

Barbara has a great passion for life, music, and nature, and has found that painting has become a necessity in her life. Painting gives her a feeling of harmony and balance. As it is in life, so it is in painting. She enjoys allowing her paintings to take on a life all their own and begins with a ‘get acquainted ‘period before seeing what the painting is about. The spontaneously abstract created pieces reveal a passion for colour and exploration, using methods that include acrylics, oils, wax, graphite, charcoal, antiquing processes, and inks.

 

Show Notes Transcript

Barabara Arnold - In a bid to add English to her 3 base languages she left Holland at 18 to university in Vancouver. Culture shock, determination along with her embracing the moment and its opportunities, she overcame and stayed. Set up an international horseback vacation company, with interesting business before and aft. Leapt into painting, never small stuff, she started with big expressive wall pieces.  She has found her heart in art. Our world is a bit richer for it. 

Fought cancer, lost a few soulmate dogs, had a marriage dissolve then had a new relationship blossom.   Barbara is an all-in-or-nothing kinda woman. With her infectious laugh, her lightness she is a woman you will want to meet.

About Mark Laurie - Host.
Mark has been transforming how women see themselves, enlarging their sense of sexy, expanding their confidence in an exciting adventure that is transformational photography.
http://innerspiritphotography.com

Sound Production by:
Lee Ellis  - myofficemedia@gmail.com
Reach out to Lee for your Sound Production

Barbara Arnold Bio
Barbara Arnold Art, Vancouver

http://www.barbaraarnoldart.com

Instagram: @barbaraarnoldart. 
T: 604 760 4465

Barbara was born in The Netherlands and lived in Europe until she immigrated in 1981 to Canada. She lives and works in Vancouver.

After travelling extensively throughout Europe, South, Central and North America, Africa, and Asia, as well as working in the fields of, hospitality and travel industry and in interior design and photography and as a TV host, her search for a deeper spiritual meaning led her to a career in painting. After attending courses at Emily Carr University of Art and Design, in Vancouver, B.C., in addition to private training. Barbara is working full time as a mixed media artist and has a studio on Granville Island.

In 2017 Barbara wrote a coffee table book that was published by Granville Island publishing. The book offers short stories about her travels and a glimpse into her art.
Her work has been selected for many juried exhibitions and she holds solo exhibitions every year. Numerous of Barbara’s paintings have found a home in Europe, North America and Canada

 She also teaches private and semi-private art classes. In 2019 Barbara started her Art Fashion & Decor featuring Cashmere and Silk Scarves, decorative pillow covers featuring her artwork. Recently she added face masks to the collection and paints hand painted one-of-a-kind cards to send to that special person.

Barbara has a great passion for life, music, and nature, and has found that painting has become a necessity in her life. Painting gives her a feeling of harmony and balance. As it is in life, so it is in painting. She enjoys allowing her paintings to take on a life all their own and begins with a ‘get acquainted ‘period before seeing what the painting is about. The spontaneously abstract created pieces reveal a passion for colour and exploration, using methods that include acrylics, oils, wax, graphite, charcoal, antiquing processes, and inks.

 

introduction:

You're listening to fascinating women with Mark Laurie. And now, Mark Laurie.

Mark Laurie:

Hello, I'm Mark Laurie, the host of fascinating women. This episode is hosted by inner spirit photography. And today I have got the most amazing guest. It's Barbara Arnold. I've known her for Gosh, a couple decades now, I guess she is. She's into so many things. She has got this incredible life curve that's gonna astound us, we kind of get into it a little bit more about spirit photography. We are a studio the specializes in making women look amazing. But also empowering them helping them find a great gift or just for having a great adventure. And now into Barbara, Hi Barbara, welcome.

Barbara Arnold:

Thank you for having me here. Mark, I'm thrilled to have a chat with you.

Mark Laurie:

is so much fun. So much fun. So now, as people can kind of figure out for your accent, you're not originally from Canada, you're from overseas someplace, aren't you?

Barbara Arnold:

Yes, I was born in The Hague in the Netherlands born and raised there. And when I was 18, I came to Canada with the plan have only been here for one year for student exchange, but kind of fell in love with the country and fell in love. And still here nevertheless, not quite true. I did leave here and they're

Mark Laurie:

traveling quite a bit that is true, mostly call this place home, which is kind of cool. So let's take it a little bit into your background. Because I always get fascinated by people who have got, you know, a good safe place back home and all accounts a really beautiful place that you had great parents the whole bit, and then you come over here, that's a big leap. And then to stay here that there's a there's a personality trait that not all people have to do that so so what kind of traits Do you think shaped you to make these kind of moves in later life as a kid,

Barbara Arnold:

um, what I think I was brought up was my father and I've had huge expectations.

Mark Laurie:

mm hem

Unknown:

I was also, you know, in, in many, many sports, and I think the sports kind of they taught you how to be a team player how to kind of socialize with people, they they taught you definitely perseverance, in my case, leadership, because I want it to be the captain of the team, of course. And, and so and then also, I think, having a father that was, you know, expecting a lot. I'm sort of, I think grew up a little faster and became more independent asker because of that, because I had to figure it out, you know, to get to his standard sort of thing.

Mark Laurie:

Did you always have that or is it something that you just embraced?

Unknown:

Um, no, I just, I just embraced that. And and I think when I came to Canada I came came for a number of reasons. But I was terrified. I can tell you that. And, and it took me till years later to actually face my fears. But um, yeah, I was always I think, a spontaneous person who jumped in 1,000%. And I'm still like that I never do anything half and, you know, sometimes jumping in 1,000% is not always the best. But it's Yeah, that's kind of how I was how I, when I came here. And from my past, I think I brought that with me and just, I had a perfectionist dad. And I think I got a little bit of that in me too. So I just do it and then it has to work. You know,

Mark Laurie:

What, what was life Like there? Was it humble beginnings, star beginning something between

Barbara Arnold:

life in Europe to me. Um, well, for me, it was, um, I lived in a home where my father was a dentist, and he practiced from home. So home was always quite busy. There was lots happening. Also, there was lots of rules because you know, there was patients coming and so it was I was, I guess I wasn't home a lot because I have so many sports. So I was always out doing things. It's different from here because everything's so small in Holland, so you bicycle or walk everywhere. And so unlike here, where you have to go in the car to go to your game or something like so. And then school was very important, so I actually attended an after school. school as well, because I was dyslexic. So I had trouble with some of the reading and things like that. So I got some extra medication for that. So, and then my mother certainly loved her alcohol once in a while. So that was a little challenging at home, because you never knew what you would find coming. I think that's, that's a part that shapes you, too, and grows you up very fast. Because you're, you're always kind of wondering what it's going to be like when you get home. And you're sometimes have to be the adult, I think. Yeah, so it was different than Holland is a country of 16 17 million people, the size smaller than Vancouver Island. So you learn to get along, because flow is people, you know, it's so different. It's the opposite of Canada, where there's so much data, and

Mark Laurie:

it's so hard for us to imagine that. I mean, I, for the longest time, I never really thought about until I bet and I couldn't believe how, like the case, the Germans, they were able to overtake so many countries so quickly, I keep on thinking of Canada, like, imagine driving tanks so fast across Canada. And then we realized this, like kind of both these countries can fit into some of our provinces. And

Barbara Arnold:

it's like, driving to Kona, almost to drive across the country for us.

Mark Laurie:

A big change. What three core beliefs Did you take out of your childhood that you brought to Canada, the major successful?

Barbara Arnold:

I think, integrity, as in values, respect, honesty, and compassion to those are definitely things that I still in my everyday life and everything I've done in career wise is always been important to me. And when I've worked in the different fields that I've worked in from the travel, to the art to being an real estate investment, I always am very honest with the people what they get, you know, what they what you see is what you get when sometimes, not everybody appreciates that honesty, but I think that's the best way to communicate, you know, and stead of dancing around things. And being compassionate when you when you deal with someone look at it from their side, you know, look at you know, how do I feel? How do they perceive that, I think is so important that you especially, was all these different cultures that we have around us here in Canada to that? No, everybody has a different way of perceiving things and doing things. So I was trying to put myself in the other person's shoes.

Mark Laurie:

So you've mentioned when you came to Canada, you had to face some fears. What were they?

Unknown:

Well, I you know, my father was very smart when when I came to Canada because I had to I wanted to learn some more English, right? French was good in Holland, you have to take at least one other language in school. So I chose French. So I spoke Dutch and French and I had a little bit of German, but my English was quite poor. So I came here because I was originally planning to go to a school in Switzerland, and they said, You've got to spiff up your English before you come. And so when I came here, the biggest fear was really communicating with people. hard being alone, not knowing anybody that was terrifying. And my father said, Oh, so you want to you want to go to Canada instead of to England where he wants to send me to a boarding school. And I said, No, I'm not doing that. He said fine, but you can't live on campus. When you go to university. You can live in this home, I have purchased a home in Canada. You can live here for free, but you can paint it, fix it up and do all that. And I thought Oh, cool. I got a home right on the oceans, great parties and all that. Because you're like 18 right? Yeah. The cool thing too, I arrived and realize the home was in the middle of absolutely nowhere. The first thing I had to do is get myself a car. And so yeah, there I was very lonely there. So that was something I had that was something I wasn't really familiar with coming from such a you know, small busy country and very active social life and so yeah, that was scary and just the unknown. Yeah, the culture was different. Everything was different. So yeah, that was scared and then you know, you get you get a bunch of you got to live on that year 18 it's that it was all very new and scary, and especially having to drive to university will take me at least an hour or more. So it was hard to develop a social life when I was doing that.

Mark Laurie:

You guys clean up this house up at the same time, so you didn't have a place. So how long did it take you to adapt overcome those fears to say, Okay, so this doesn't scare me anymore?

Barbara Arnold:

Yeah, that's a good one. I think it took me really, I mean, I just adapted and make the best out of the situation I was in. And I think that's what I've always done. When I'm in a situation like that I just look at trying to look at the positive side. And, you know, go, Okay, I can do this. And how long? I don't know, I think I was I had lots of fears. And it took me really till after two, I got divorced, which was much later when I was 40, that I realized, facing your fears was a really good thing. And the more you did it, the happier and the better your life was gonna be. But between that 18 and 14, oh, my God, I was terrified all the time. Things I just stumbled through it, I guess

Mark Laurie:

We all do. Now, it's interesting that facing the fears, I mean there are movies are built up, there are books based on it, pretty much every health coach life coach person says, you know, face your fears and kind of go forward into it. And yet it is really a hard thing to do and emerge, not broken.

Barbara Arnold:

Yeah, yeah. Well, I think what helped me also is that when I was young, we traveled a lot for vacation. And then once I came to Canada, I, I traveled quite a bit to, I had, I started my own company that sold horseback riding vacations all over the world together as a partner. And that gave me the opportunity to travel everywhere in the world, and to usually more remote places, because you're riding with horses. And so I found that doing that each time is different, you know, when you don't know there's things when you travel that are new. And I think that really helped me face fears. Because you always made it through these trips. And I'm super excited because it was new, it was different. And I think if you open yourself up to different ways of life. And you in you allow yourself to see different things. You start questioning your own things, too. And I think that's a really a growing process where you become more grounded, and you become better equipped to deal with things in life.

Mark Laurie:

Travel. Yeah, so you just start to travel. Things never go the way they're planned on a very rarely. So you wind up

Barbara Arnold:

Also America or India. Yeah.

Mark Laurie:

Yeah, it's it. And so you have to adapt, and you've got to be on the good side of the people you're traveling, you can't be this arrogant sob because no one's gonna help you. Yeah. So we have to

Unknown:

really learn to live in the now traveling, you know, planning, I must admit, I am a Master planner, but I realized in some of these countries to just give up on the planning, because it's never gonna go away upon it. Yeah, just be there in the moment. And I think that is one of the things I've really learned from the travel. And to fail you the experience more than than thinks spelling bad is just so much more valuable. Really,

Mark Laurie:

oh, this and that. The time that the rod I remember as the cook sounds a while back. And as the real estate radio, we're climbing a mountain or listen to radio and the guy comes on. He says, Yeah, it's about two o'clock and I go, Oh, my God, he's his wife says I supposed to meet this guy down the village at one. And it's two Now like I said, No way. But did he say it was two o'clock? Or to say it's about two o'clock? It's really what's the difference? Oh, two, three hours. Have a watch with me. He'd like some nice. Well, it's only 1030 right now. How can I build that far? It's just because people ask that the clock. Doesn't matter. We're on Island time.

Barbara Arnold:

Yeah, no, I you know, I spent about a year and a half that before going to Ecuador and live there had a little apartment up there. And, you know, it was it was so different than here. And so different from me because I am organized. I'm a very organized person. And I think that was also a reason why some of the things I did were successful, but being organized there was just not useful. You had to go with the flow. And you can force the other people to be that way. Because they're not directors, you know? manyana and whatever it's Yeah. And they have and they're really when when you live like that I found life is a lot more relaxed. You know, there, there isn't the whole these expectations and all this because you're just go with the flow. Yeah, things happen because of that. Yeah, it's not always wonderful. That can be bad too. But you can learn from those things, too. So it's Yeah, I found it. Incredible. See how our society functions that way. So well.

Mark Laurie:

Yeah. Cuz on the surface from our very organized, regimented lifestyle here, and you encounter that and you're like, how can you guys but they do like it just stuff flows in and flows out? We're excited to have you picked up any inspirational quotes along the way.

Barbara Arnold:

Um, yes, one that I love was tried to be the rainbow in somebodies cloud.

Mark Laurie:

I like that one.

Barbara Arnold:

Yeah, I think that's beautiful. And then I have my moto is always live life to its fullest that, for me, it's definitely something I've picked up along the way in all these travels. Yeah. And there was Einstein said, he was actually the one who said live life to the fullest. And I did write down the rest because it was a long quote he made and he said, live life to the fullest, you have to color Outside the Lines once in a while, if you want to make your masterpiece, laugh some every day, keep growing, keep dreaming, keep throwing your heart, the important thing is not to stop questioning. And I thought that was a really good quote.

Mark Laurie:

There's a lot in there. Five quotes he's put down. He was really brilliant on so many different levels. Don't be like that.

Unknown:

You have to be a rainbow on somebody else's cloud. You know, I think so many people say what's the meaning of life? I think the meaning of life is that we're there to help each other especially now in this pandemic. It's obvious, right? That we need to

Mark Laurie:

It made it obvious like you sit back and go, Oh, we can get through this is on the goodwill of others. Because there's so many trying versions of stuff people have to face. It doesn't take much like, I remember I had a student I was working with one day and was years later, they talked to me said, You know, I did this thing because you smiled at me and said, This shouldn't be a problem for you. And actually, so I thought that if you thought that then you were so wise and smart. But you had no idea. I could do this. And she didn't she and she said us I just do the whole thing launched off. But she said really that was that one simple thing that was probably as a cast off for you just changed my life. And so you never know when that rainbow was going to really impact Exactly.

Barbara Arnold:

Well, I had that. I mean, I had my my company and I had to find them for about 15 years for the adventure travel. And I got shingles and stress related. And a friend of mine said, you really need to chill, you know, you need to chill, chill and change where you're all thinking about. And I said, No, no, no, I'm your doctor said have take some time off chill. And so there's one friend of mine, her name was Barb Manu, she said, You should paint and I said, I'm not gonna paint I was thrown out of my art class in school in Holland, because a teacher said I didn't have an artistic bone in my, in my body. And I should go to woodworking class and work with my hands and build boxes and stuff like that. So I always believe that teacher there's no way I can not. And I still I was right. I still can't draw a stickman today, but I was artistic. It turned out but anyway, so this friend said, paint and I said oh, Barb, I don't know. And she said, I'll tell you what, I'm gonna take you to a movie. And then you tell me afterwards if you want to paint and she took me to a movie about a famous artist and he paints with his hands that Jackson Pollock. So it was about his life. And he was painting his hands with toothpicks and everything. And I remember sitting in that movie and thinking, oh my god, this is so fun. I always thought painting was a paintbrush. You can do whatever you want. Yeah. And I totally said part. Let's go buy some paints. I'm gonna make a painting just for fun. Right? And I did that and and she was a professional painter. And she looks at and she said, Well, I think You can pay him out and take a class. And, you know, I was I have taken a month off from work to relax. So I took a class and I just never turned back. I sold my shares of my company and became an artist. You know, it's like, again, I did everything 100%. But so yeah, it was that small thing of going to that movie that changed everything.

Mark Laurie:

There's actually a phrase that that I've encountered, and I gotta look the word up, it's a long must be like 20 vowels. And what it means is that there's an event that you've that you've gotten to it's something you read something somebody said dimestore book, something that really is on the surface is of no consequence. And yet it has this profound life changing result as it flows through your life. And most people get these things, sometimes they don't realize it, what's triggered them until they sit back and analyze it. But in your case, you know, this, this movie that piles of people have seen that have walked away and said, well, that's an interesting how we painted or was curved wasn't. And you walk up and going, I got paint I got, you know, something's been triggered. So while and I remember, when we first met you had gotten a contract. Out of the blue, I think it was with the exhibition Patterson's.

Barbara Arnold:

Oh, yes, I worked for it with Jim Patterson for exploiting six that long ago since we met Wow. Yes, that was I had just finished that the hotel school, I went to a restaurant management. And well, that, again, was one of these things, I was working for somebody. And I was just delivering something to the expo office and then at up chatting with someone in the elevator. And by the time that elevator came to the floor, we want that person said, You should come in my office, and I want to interview you, you should work here, you shouldn't be delivering this. You shouldn't be working with us. Right. And so I just gotten the contract to look after all the food concessions and pavilions for Expo 86. And that was a super exciting, fun job. What a great project. That was. Yeah, I

Mark Laurie:

remember when we talked your eyes, it's a sparkle with enthusiasm and then moved on to something else. So you really made a big leap. I think you when you got into your painting decided to do this. Like it's like you leave this and you go into that. And I think you leaped into a space in Granville Island.

Barbara Arnold:

Yes, I, I started at home for a little bit. But I kind of went right away, like I want to paint big pieces. And doing that at home was just not really feasible. So I needed a space. So I found a space on Granville Island, which was a wonderful place to be and started painting there. And it was lost my train of thought here but anyway, so I just gave up that space on Granville Island this in my mind was a little I miss

Mark Laurie:

were before the interview you were talking because I when you say big space, I mean the one behind you is relatively small. You do like eight feet, things like really?

Barbara Arnold:

Yeah, I like two big pieces or are doing triptychs where you have three big getters for Emerald. Yeah, I find that I can be more expressive. When I paint and I can really move. I'm not somebody that wants to sit there was a tiny little brush or pencil

Mark Laurie:

as we were when we were talking. You was I think your first course teacher was telling you and she said well, here's a she brought this small five by seven video draw something

Barbara Arnold:

bigger. Yeah. And she looked at me, she gave me something I said no bigger than that. No, she looked at me and she said, you know, we only have an hour, right? Yeah, that's fine. Do it. Yeah, I don't know, go big or go home, I guess. Philosophy and I think that's when I jump into something. I give it everything I have 100%. And if I change a job or you know, a friendship, anything.

Mark Laurie:

So how do you because when you paint, we don't paint for some of those weapons. say oh, I want to have blues and reds and make diopters you paint from the heart. what triggers that? If you're doing a commissioned piece, where do you get inspiration because you're working basically abstracts recall.

Barbara Arnold:

My pieces are abstract. Most of my pieces are definitely they come from the heart from your soul. For everything day things that happen around you could be your walking your dog and you see the light shined on a rock and that inspires you and you go home and you have to put that somehow on campus. Or it could be you know, a friend is sick or something. happened or died and new that sort of gets you in a certain mood and new, you express those feelings on the wood. In my case, I paint mainly on wood. But the Commission's is a whole different story because someone says, You know, I want to hang this up off my couch. And these are my colors are my throw pillows has to fit. So it's very challenging painting a commission because that whole sort of natural letting go of your emotions on a wooden panel or a canvas becomes restricted. Because all of us, you have to think in these colors. And, you know, sometimes they'll even say I want that abstract, but I really like the mountains that I look at out of my house. So I wanted to kind of get that feeling when I look at abstract. And this is where the communication and compassion there's other people becomes really important because I can't see what they're thinking. Yeah. So I need to really talk and talk with this person to try and get a feel of what their expectation is. Because it's going to be completely different probably from what I'm thinking, and what I'm feeling. And so commissions are very challenging. And it's always you know, I tell people, I'll paint till you're happy, even if not the paint 10 times over. But yeah, so so that, that that feeling from the heart and stuff you still have that wasn't was a commission, but you're a little bit more restricted. But I always tell people, the more freedom you will give me, yeah, Sir, your painting will be because if you restrict me, I can put that emotion in and you will see in the painting that it lacks emotion.

Mark Laurie:

Yeah, you gotta be outside the lines after let you go outside of the lines, which I found for our commissioning pieces. A lot of the time the people that commissioned art are people who are able to do the art, they have this massive appreciation for them. But they're usually very left brained, I guess, like it's very tight by the numbers, you know, the chart kind of stuff. And it's hard for them to let go. And they they're mad. They're mesmerized by artists, because they don't understand where this comes from. They understand the math and the cables. And, but this art thing just blows them away. And it's it's really hard to let them this let go.

Barbara Arnold:

Yeah, and I, I love that letting go right. Because I'm such an organizer planning. The funny part is was my art, I'm the opposite. And I drove my art teacher crazy, because she always said you make a plan before you paint. And I go notice that the only time in my life, I don't want that plan. You have to have a plan. And so yeah, it's very interesting. And there's lots of artists who do paint with a plan. And there's a lot to don't just let it flow, right. And that's why some days your paintings are great. And other days, you just got to say to yourself, maybe it's very put these brushes down and work on some marketing or go for a walk or still think about working today. It's really wild.

Mark Laurie:

Oh, we had a girl, Julian cost Who's this giant in Photoshop with Adobe. And she was associate sometimes with photographs are successful, sometimes they weren't as much. So she took each group in that she did. And she made 50 slices, one inch big switches. And then she did a blur section where all the colors are blurred. And then she'd see a palette because at that point, there's no shades, it's just this color town of these 50 shots, they'd be blues and be you know, Golden's and whatever. And then she found the ones that she liked the best, we usually have this golden tinge to it. So that so she found from her palette design where things are going but even by themselves are these beautiful art pieces. It was just incredible. What you try to communicate with your art for the most part, when you finish a piece Do you have a thing is trying to say? Or are you always trying to part the same kind of emotion or what when somebody see a regular piece? What do they get from it,

Barbara Arnold:

I really hope to get an emotion out of the viewer so to speak. I want them to feel something and I'm happy when someone say, Oh, this is just me copy or I see a bird in there and I go Really? I don't see it. No and, and he sings that's when I really feel my piece of art is doing something because people have a reaction to it. And that's difficult was abstract because it's much easier if you paint in an old man. You know, cane sitting at a bus stop that immediately creates an emotion for somebody right? So I like I like it when I can get someone to have some sort of a reaction to I don't really want to make what I call Decorate of art, I will, you know, if people as often was a commission, that is what you're doing, but I tried to put some sort of an emotion in it for sure, by using the colors and the lines and the flows that year and the shapes that you're making. And then sometimes I just go, I have to get this emotion out, and I make something more realistic, like I made this huge painting when a Japanese tsunami happened, right? Because, you know, I was just so moved, I guess, it had such an effect on me that all this water made destruction and people dying and lost family members. And we're seeing these images on TV of cars and boats, you know, upside down and, and so I've painted two paintings about that, and they're fairly realistic. And and that made me realize that people really had a reaction to that. So then, after that, I said, Okay, I've want the same thing in my abstract would be much harder. But I want people to feel that emotion when they look at this painting.

Mark Laurie:

I came across sort of sight touch on that there was two stories that really moved me one was there's a connection of engineers that went back inside and knew that would shorten their life to do so. But to save the community, they all went back inside to try and shut the thing down and save it. And I thought that is such as a whole team and then went in and that is such like, you know, that you're probably not going to live that your life is going to come away shorter. And your responsibility to community was so huge. The second one was much quieter. But when people fled, they left behind a whole bunch of cats and some dogs, like lots of this guy, what he did, he he has this ramshackle house, he had photographs of it, it is a good title start work, he goes down to he walks down the street and his health because he's living inside the zone, right. And he's caring for all these cats. He has no intention to leave until they all pass away. And so he's bringing whatever meager savings he's got. He sees feeding them and he's this caregiver. This quiet as his family tries to convince him he will not leave them because they've been abandoned. And they need this carrot. And was such a such a touching moment at the summon decides that all these little little creatures have to be looked after.

Barbara Arnold:

And isn't that what life's all about?

Mark Laurie:

Some are seven steps. And this is a funny leap. But I was watching. It was worth it when the last diehard movies and the guy says Why do you do this, you step up and you know, mayhem and being maimed and so on. He says because I'm the guy, I'm the guy that's in the spot. I'm the guy that can do it. So I got I got to step up. I'm that guy. Wow, that's, that's the message of the movie is that you got to step up, be the guy that steps up, be the person I guess the guy's

Unknown:

trying to make a difference. And you know how to make huge differences, you know, little things are, help, everything helps, right? And pandemic right now, too. I mean, you know, I help your neighbor help a person and I really, I'm a karma person. So I've always feel you know, if you do something nice for someone else could call my accountants back, right? That's the philosophy I live on. But you when you give comes back, it's a circular motion life basically. And, you know, so I got really at one point, I was feeling kind of like, what can I do to give back you know, it's different was painting it's. And then so it can be as simple as everyday when I walk my dog, just pick up a piece of garbage and throw it away, you know, or whatever. And I keep telling people that it's like, you'd be amazed how good you feel after you've done that, right? And then you can build it up to something bigger. And there's an old legend

Mark Laurie:

I love and it's this guy's a writer, and he took this spot in the beach and he looks out on the beach and every morning when the tide goes out. There's this young kid and he's dancing. He's got this really strange scooping down Switzer everyday, he just seems to does a pointless dance. You want us down discoveries in as much dancing as he is. He's grouping down. He's grabbing starfish, and he's throwing them in the ocean. And so they'll survive, right? And this guy says, What are you doing? He says I'm I'm just saving a few these things. He says there's, there's too many. You can make a difference in the ground when he throws the ocean made a difference to that one.

Barbara Arnold:

Yeah, exactly.

Mark Laurie:

So have you discovered because the thing with art is especially the free form artists, you get eccentric. Have you found yourself shifting to eccentricity?

Barbara Arnold:

There's moments probably but I never was a person who is definitely not eccentric. So it's For me back. But um, I think I've become more data and like, I used to care about things, what people thought. And I think this is part of growing more mature and older and wiser to, hopefully, I can just to that point of now I don't care. I'm just, to me, the most important thing in life is that I stay grounded, balanced, that I help others. And then I can give back and that you can be, I guess, purposeful in a way. And if that's being eccentric sometimes, yes. I mean, my thing of eccentric is maybe wearing some really crazy clothes. That company I was brought up, dressing very properly, you know, most important schools are not really the typical artists. It's interesting, because, you know, I, obviously surrounded by lots of artists, and I'm always thinking, I'm the only one that doesn't tell me look like I love. I love to be like that. But, um, somehow it's just hasn't quite happened with me. Maybe it's that upbringing in your dream was expectation? Yeah. But I'm eccentric in doing things. I've always been like that, that. I've, I get an idea. I'm gonna go do whatever it takes, you know. And, you know, one day I decided I wanted to be a kayak teacher. And I just said, Nope, you know, you and I met sort of parting by acting, but I didn't really know much about it. And I was just, you know, your head goes, Oh, I can't do this and your fears and all that. And then when you can do whatever you want us kind of saying your brain to it, maybe you won't be excellent at up and just practice will happen until you do that. And the same as the painting. I think I am eccentric in the way that I I keep seeing it, I want to do something different. Try some things out. So I've been working a lot with rust for a while, you know, when I was picking up anything that looked rusty on the street and tried to put it in my paintings and basically recycle things that are garbage.

Mark Laurie:

putting something rusty in the wood and then painting around it. So it's a three dimensional,

Barbara Arnold:

okay, also, I also do I like to use a mix different chemicals or solutions, right, now you create rust as an actual paint. So I pour it in there that oxidizes and I and you get a bit of a rust out of that. And I did a whole series about that. And and the paintings were all kind of like as if you were looking from above onto the world landscapes because you know, lots of mountains are that rusty color. And so we added a whole series called latitude and longitude of places I traveled and that had made a profound impact on me and tried to paint that by doing that. So I guess that's a little eccentric, right

Mark Laurie:

and pushing the boundaries. Kind of stepping back to something you said earlier that you I guess when you found your center or your your personal intent, we guess became comfortable in your own skin. fell in love with yourself first, like a turning point yard as well. Could you can you look at your art and say well, here's where I still try and please the world and here's where I only really was comfortable with who I am and my own circles, gizzard did yard shift from that happy?

Barbara Arnold:

Yes, a little bit. But I think it even that that whole experience was even before I became an artist that happened to me, right. And everything changed in my life. When that happened. I think the moment I stopped caring what other people thought and setting some boundaries, which is something I needed to really do. My life became such more so much more balanced. I was became more self confident. I was pretty insecure. I think. Before that. I'm not sure.

Mark Laurie:

Security did not show much.

Barbara Arnold:

Oh, trust me, you know me really well. You know, I'm one of those people. I used to put 20 outfits on before I could decide how I was going to walk out the door because every one of them I thought looked horrible. So you know, there's now it's like I just put it on I go it doesn't really matter what's on the outside. It's the inside, you know that matters. So

Mark Laurie:

what brought what was the trigger? I've been talking a lot of the people I found there life event or there's some something that happens that you suddenly go, you know, I'm gonna change, I'm gonna be uncomfortable, whatever it is that happened with you.

Barbara Arnold:

Absolutely. It was a bit of a combination between things for me, I got cancer, so it was health issues, I had to fight that. And that was kind of at the same time that my marriage was not being as good. And we were heading for divorce. And then I got a divorce. And my golden retriever died. So I had sort of screen major events all happening at the same time. And I really thought, Oh, my God, that my god can go home anymore, you know, it's just too much. Um, and, and so I did a little bit of counseling for marriage counseling, I just continued on this last particular counselor, because I really enjoyed talking to this. And only for maybe a couple more times, but he taught me cognitive thinking therapy. And he taught me how to, he kind of made me aware that I thought a certain way on each everything I approach. And so he said, you know, instead of having that way of thinking, every time you have that feeling like oh, no, I'm terrified, or it's too much, or he said, write down the worst scenario, the best scenario and the things in between. and then look at that, and nobody does today, right? It's okay. And even the worst scenario, you're not going to die. All right? When you write that all down, and there may be some you can say, Okay, I'll die because I'm jumping off a cliff or something. But so that was a turning point. For me. When I got that tool. I everything started sort of changing. And I think having gotten through the divorce, which was terrifying, financially terrifying, being on your own, almost still in a country where all my family was living on the other side of the ocean. That Well, of course, cancer is terrifying for anybody, you know, they were all sort of I made it through all those things that the dog I love more than anything else in my life. Basically, my soulmate passed away, I came out through all that sadness to I realized that, wow, you know, it's all a circle, there's bad things, but then good things come because good things did happen after that, and the arts and happened to me, and it was sort of like, wow, you just have to keep going perseverance and believe that it's going to be okay. And so for me, that was a real turning point when I saw that that happened. But if you trust that, that, that it really did happen, you really come out the other end, and of course, other bad things will happen again, because life was all fabulous. It'd be kind of boring when this. Yeah, it would be challenges aren't fun, but you learn from them each time, I hope people learn from them and grow from them. And I think those were my turning points. When I realized I ever taught I came out of it, even though it was very painful, or very difficult. And I was still standing and each time I stood a little stronger on that ground, you know, and I was a little more balanced, I think you become more equipped to do it. And that and that's the turning point where I was, was the art for me where things really changed. I was like, I'm not gonna just paint what I think I should paint. I'm gonna just try anything and see where it goes. And sometimes it was so horrible and ugly mark, it was like, I took a sander to one of my paintings. Nothing happened, it was okay. And I'm teaching people's art classes now. I mean, before COVID happened. And I used to say to people just let it go, just do whatever you want. Because if it's ugly, we'll just paint the weight again and we'll go over graded this paint right over these colors and amazing things happen. Right? Often your mistakes and I'm making the most beautiful paintings.

Mark Laurie:

I've had that happen my photography where else don't make a script the lights on kind of go away and then I can I can work with this.

Barbara Arnold:

Exactly right. And and I think it's in life like that to you. It's just and that those are, once you realize that and you're opening yourself up to that face that then the world is your oyster

Mark Laurie:

that we'll end on and it's been amazing. Thank you for those insights that it's been it's I've got always astounded how quickly our time goes.

Barbara Arnold:

Well, I want to thank you for inviting me on the program. And like always mark, you make people feel so comfortable and you're an inspiration. I know you have really empowered a lot of people that you have photographed and talk to in your interviews. I've listened to some of the interviews and you can hear in them how people just feel better about themselves when they talk to you. So you're an inspiration.

Mark Laurie:

Thank you. I appreciate that. So catch us next time catch the previous ones. Take us on the road with Mark Laurie from fascinating women hosting supported by inner spirit photography. See you next time.

introduction:

This has been fascinating women with Mark Laurie. Join us on our website and subscribe at fascinating women dossier fascinating women has been sponsored by inner spirit photography of Calgary, Alberta and is produced in Calgary by Lila's and my office media.