Classically trained artist Barbara Greco studied at the oldest art school in the country, The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art in Philadelphia. Her work has been exhibited in regional group exhibitions and at The Salmagundi Club in New York City.
One of Barbara’s passions is to nurture others to grow, gain confidence, and enjoy art — something she’ll be doing on August 27 and September 1 (5:30-7:30 p.m.), when she guides patrons on using charcoal and chalk to create portraits in the next ART@EPL outdoor workshop.
Barbara’s workshops are free and open to anyone 16 and up, but attendance is limited. Email Lauri or call 610-965-9284 to check availability, or come be on standby on the day of to fill in for any last-minute cancellations.
We asked Barbara to tell us more about her journey as an artist and what she has planned for her classes…
I always knew I wanted to be an artist. I grew up in upstate New York in a very rural area. We had one museum: Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute, which I visited regularly. My other favorite place to visit was the public library. I would take out several heavy art books that were larger than me and was enthralled by the art. In school, I loved art class and was involved in all the art activities. I was always drawing.
When did you decide to pursue art professionally? Do you do it full time?
I pursued art professionally in my adult years. I felt it was “now or never.” I knew I wanted to be classically trained, so I took the leap, quit my job, and went to art school. I graduated from The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. I continue to study with master artists that I admire. I never looked back. For me, it was a good decision.
I am a professional, full-time artist. It is my life. I occasionally work one day a week to supplement my income for studio and art supply cost. Life is always a balance between family, friends, home, creating, the business of art, exhibitions and deadlines.
My workshop will be on drawing a portrait in charcoal. I plan to demonstrate by providing a Bargue Plate (which is a paper copy of a head) and guide the students through the principles of drawing.
What’s your advice for anyone who wants to explore art, but can’t seem to find the time or feels intimidated by a blank canvas?
Just do it and don’t make excuses; otherwise it will never happen. Set time for yourself and start to draw or paint, whatever you love. Prepare the evening before on what you are going to work on. Visit art museums, galleries, artist studios and study the master artists. We have the internet, so take an online class, a local workshop, study with a local artist, and look at art online.
Any final thoughts?
The magic happens in my studio; I feel happy when I’m there. Being an artist is not easy. It is a slow process and one you have to embrace. It takes courage and hard work. Don’t ever give up on your passions. The hard work will pay off and you will reap the benefits.
ART@EPL is the library’s exciting partnership with the Lehigh Art Alliance and the Lehigh Valley Arts Council. The series is funded through a grant from PA Partners in the Arts, making it possible for area residents to enjoy free art lectures and workshops from local artists working in pastels, charcoal, sculpture, and watercolor among others.