Barbara Vanyo is primarily a botanical watercolorist. Upon retirement, and a 40- year hiatus from painting and drawing, she returned to that childhood love. After trying various media and several genres she took a class at the Boca Grande Art Center from renowned artist, Katherine Manisco. This class, a beginner’s introduction to botanical illustration, lasted three days. In that time the class painted exactly one croton leaf. Babs was hooked.
The attention to detail, the presence of the Fibonacci code in nature and the necessity to study about the specimen all captivated her imagination.
Babs enjoys painting on vellum, usually calfskin. Vellum has been used for thousands of years for manuscripts, scientific illustration and other forms of communication. The surface, being smooth, presents an additional challenge to the artist.
Babs also uses hand marbled paper with traditional matting for many of her paintings. This technique, also historical, provides a perfect match to the organic sense of botanical paintings. This technique was also learned at the BG Art Center in classes with Dianna Shandorf.
Barbara and her husband, Bob, have lived on Boca Grande since 2003. They split their time between here and Big Sky, MT. This diversity of flora allows Babs to study orchids in the winter and alpine wild flowers in the summer.
Originally from western Pennsylvania, Babs was a local business owner who was greatly involved in community organizations, the most gratifying one being Laurel Arts. Much like our own Boca Grande Art Center, Laurel Arts has become a premier rural arts organization in Pennsylvania and the one visual arts outlet in the small community.