Semi-realistic landscapes (Canada)

Semi-realistic landscape artist Barbara DeMott holds a Ph.D. in Art History and Cultural Anthropology, from Columbia University in New York City. She has taught Art history and Cultural Anthropology for over 25 years at universities across Canada and the USA. Only after retirement from teaching, she has been able to focus on her own paintings.

Through her oil and watercolour landscapes, DeMott conveys her deep love and respect for nature and the spiritual sustenance it provides her.

DeMott signs her art with her Chinese name, Baolan, or Precious Orchid, given to her by her Chinese brush painting teacher many years ago.


Barbara explores western watercolour, oils, and cold wax, focussing solely on landscapes. She expresses her profound love and respect for her surrounding forests and ocean.

Her landscapes reflect her experience of nature’s vitality with a limited palette, soft glaze and balance of positive and negative rather than a representation of a particular place. She mixes mediums such as brilliant pigments of watercolour and pastel with a cold wax overlay and employs oil paint in thin washes mixed with walnut oil. In stead of brushes, DeMott prefers the use spatulas, wiping and her fingers. Recently she discovered gold leaf as a further way to accent colour and movement in her work.


Painting a landscape is an emotional response to the connection I feel with the energies, both fierce and gentle, that surround me in the forests and beaches around my Pacific Northwest home. Some days the forest beams with warmth and the shimmering light is filled with earthy richness and bird song. Other times the stormy seas and wailing winds reveal a dark, intimidating power.

In my daily walks, I marvel in the light, colours, and energy and hope to portray moments spent in this natural cathedral. Since I am compelled by a sense of urgency for the human world which has become increasingly alienated from the earth and its beauty, I need to reaffirm my connection to nature through imagined painted landscapes.

  • “Calgary Art Show”, Try it ART Gallery, Calgary, AB (G)
  • “Friends of the Gallery”, annual exhibition for Sechelt Arts Council, Sechelt, BC (G)
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