Chantel Barber is an accomplished artist who discovered her passion for art at a very young age. “The first drawings I did as a child were of people,” she says, “When I began painting, I couldn’t wait to try portraiture.”
Starting at the age of 12, Chantel was mentored by many professional oil painters. Throughout her life she took art classes and in college. As she tried to develop a style that she liked, another student introduced acrylic paint to her but she felt acrylics were generally used for abstract paintings and her love lay with portraiture.
Chantel chose to mesh her knowledge of oil techniques and her desire to use acrylics for portrait work in a style that has become distinctly her own. “I am definitely best known for my specific approach to acrylic as I work in more of an alla prima style, rather than washes and glazes,” she says, “I love using the Grand Prix® Hog Hair Bristle Filberts for the majority of my brushwork. They give me superior control over paint application and I can create a variety of edges with their flexibility. The Renaissance Red Sable Cat’s Tongue brushes are perfect for adding smaller details when needed.”
When asked what inspires her work, Chantel says, “So much of what I see on a daily basis inspires me: Light, shadows, colors, sounds, but I am especially drawn to the human spirit; I long to capture it on canvas though portrait and figure work.”
One of the newest paintings in Chantel’s collection is also her favorite because she feels it embodies who was as a child. Named “The Dreamer Next Door,” this portrait won in the Master Class category of May’s Art Muse Contest and holds a special place in her heart.
Chantel operates an art business called “Chantel’s Originals” in Memphis, Tennessee, teaches 6-9 workshops each year but she also offers online courses. She recommends Silver Brush to all of her students.
In addition, Chantel is the National Coordinator of the State Ambassador program for the Portrait Society of America, President of Artists’ Link in Memphis, and a member of The Chestnut Group and the National Oil Painters’ Society.
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