VINTON – Barb Campbell likes to draw pictures of cats.
It's a good thing that she does since the passion earned Campbell many ribbons over the years. She's known for her ability to work with the intricate details of a feline's fur.
“You can’t just do fur and make it look real,” said Campbell. “I love a challenge.”
But, Campbell also captures other subjects with her artistic skills. At the Iowa Artists Regional Art Show in Denver, Iowa last weekend, she earned a first place – a blue ribbon – for a water color of a wooden bridge over a creek that she called “Nature Trail.” Her drawing of a cat in a tree – “Bird's Eye View” -- was awarded a red ribbon.
“It was a pretty good show,” said Campbell.
The show had 72 entries, which allowed the judge to present seven blue, red and white ribbons. Campbell entered only two pieces, scoring 100 percent on ribbons earned per number entered.
“Nature Trail” advances to the Iowa State Show in Des Moines on May 12. Only work which earned a blue ribbon can show at that event.
Campbell became interested in art at a young age. She loves to find out what she can create.
“It is a lot of fun,” said Campbell.
She decided to undertake the cat in a tree subject because Campbell liked the challenge of capturing the tree bark. It would be a real challenge, she said.
With “Nature Trail” Campbell decided it was time she painted another water color.
“It is just a very serene, clean picture,” said Campbell.
Campbell finds it difficult to describe from where the ideas come. Sometimes, the inspiration arrives out of the blue. She also captures photographs Campbell sometimes reviews for ideas.
But, whatever she decides upon, the subject must touch inside that lights the fire of inspiration.
“You have got to light the fire,” said Campbell. “I get started on it and just sit in my studio with my headphones and my music going.”
Campbell has arisen during the night to work on her ideas.
She will exhibit this weekend in the Waverly Art and Photography Show at the library. It runs from April 15-28. Any winner is invited to show work at the library.
Showing her work does not bring Campbell a lot of money. Producing pieces for a commission does generate money. She currently is producing a piece for a couple in Indianola, Iowa.