A Fine Artist, Barbara Spies has developed a unique style, whether it be in watercolor, acrylc on canvas or in printmaking. The spontaneity in her watercolors is evident in the energy found in brushstrokes and letting the paint work on its own! Color and design play a large part in her acrylic paintings and in her new found love, printmaking, the joy of mark-making is evident.Spies graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in painting and drawing and also completed a Masters Degree in Art History graduating summa cum laude. Her interest in that field focused on an illuminated manuscript of Dante's "Divine Comedy" handwritten and illustrated for Federigo de Montefeltro, the Duke of Urbino in the year 1481. She studied in Florence, Italy; visited the Vatican Library to see the manuscript first hand and Federigo's castle and studiolo in Urbino; the Schiffanoia library in Ferrara to examine other manuscripts by the same artist. Most of her research was in the Italian language and many of the illuminations have never been published. She has since lectured to scholastic groups about this magnificent largely unknown work of art and has taught courses in the Humanities and Art History at the college level.
Her fine art has been shown in many group and solo exhibitions. Her canvases, watercolors and drawings hang in many private collections. Using a full range of artistic media and with subject matter ranging from large florals on canvas to social commentary drawings on paper, her work always creates much public interest.
The commercial part of B. Spies Designs has evolved over the years beginning with painting the ubiquitous t-shirt. Handpainted denim jackets followed along with other designs on fabrics for pillows and chairs. Painting on furniture has become the focus now. Spies enjoys the fluidity of the painting process on the wood and is particularly pleased to be able to recyle pieces of furniture into works of art. Spies also creates individualized "Small Books" which show drawings following a customized story. Very charming.