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Work Samples


Peacefire 2017, inspired by Baltimore Ceasefire 365 365


From MONUMENTAL GREETINGS, my memoir in the form of a graphic novel


Page from unpublished graphic memoir MONUMENTAL GREETINGS
Page from "I Enter the Riot Zone," chapter from graphic memoir MONUMENTAL GREETINGS, about growing up in Baltimore and becoming an artist with the Civil Rights Movement going on around me.


Demonstration, Paris, May 13, 1968
May 13, 1968, thousands of students and workers' union members fill the Place de la Republique, Paris, to protest discrimination, low wages, police brutality, government centralization. All of Paris and much of the rest of France felt the impact of this one-day strike.


About Barbara

Barbara Treasure's picture
Barbara R. Treasure is a watercolor artist who was born in Baltimore and has lived there most of her life. Her sketchbooks are the ground and foundation of her paintings, collages, Christmas cards, and comics.


Memoir in the form of a graphic novel, narrative drawn on paper with graphite, exposition rendered in watercolor and watercolor collage. Part 1 begins when I went downtown during the riots in April 1968, then left the US to spend the summer studying in England, learning much more than my seminar in the 20th Century English Novel at the University of London intended to teach me. I returned home to use the benefit of this new education.

Part 2 begins in April 2015, with the arrest and hospitalization of Freddie Gray, who died of injuries sustained in police custody. When the mostly nonviolent Baltimore Uprising became violent, I focused on what I had learned about Freddie Gray, his life, and found it to be a catalog of what has to change in Baltimore. I embarked on a journey into Baltimore, led by this catalog, and learned that Freddie Gray had begun a legacy that continues in this Balkanized, silo-ed, segregated city.

Peacefire for Ceasefire

Baltimore Ceasefire 365 is overcoming every boundary and barrier in our silo-ed, Balkanized, segregated city to bring people together to call for an end to murder in this city. It is everything Baltimore needs: inclusive, nonviolent, community-based, compassionate. Joining the march and libation ceremony at our first event in August 2017, I realized that this is completely different.

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    Peacefire on the Porch
    Peacefire on the Porch for Baltimore Ceasefire 365, November 2017, got my neighbors talking about Ceasefire, and expressing their concern and hope. Stony Run Meeting of Friends has invited me to make a bigger version for their porch, much more visible on Charles Street, for the February 2918 Ceasefire weekend.
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    Limited edition Christmas Card “Peacefire,” inspired by Baltimore Ceasefire 365

Sketchbook 1972-1973

The beginning of my sketchbook practice, the ground and foundation of all my subsequent work. Since March 2012, the 40th anniversary of beginning this book, I study all of them, expecting to find something new.

  • Citizen II

    Sketchbook page, 1973, 11"x8 1/2", graphite, water-soluble marker, mulberry, tissue, and gift wrap paper. A gentleman with a really pink head attended a public meeting to discuss whether Baltimore City should replace Memorial Stadium. Attendees thought it was a terrible idea.
  • Broken Down in Illinois and Waiting on the Tow

    Sketchbook page, 8 1/2"x11", graphite and water-soluble marker on paper. Moving back to Baltimore from Oklahoma, our rental truck quit. I spent a long day at the gas station by this cornfield watching the interstate go on without us. In those days, one van rental company advertised "Adventure in Moving."
  • Rain Approaching the Mountain

    Sketchbook page, 1972, graphite and water-soluble marker on paper, 11"x8 1/2". In New Mexico, on Sandia Mountain, I saw storms gather, break and dissipate before they came near my vantage point.
  • Fabulous Furry Delegate

    Sketchbook page, 11"x8 1/2", graphite, water-soluble marker, and origami paper on paper. Sketched at the third presidential nominating gathering I attended, this one an 18-hour marathon in Oklahoma City. My idealism has tempered itself, without loss of determination or altruism. The local news carried a clip of my hand working on this page.
  • Delegates III

    Sketchbook page, 11"x8 1/2", water soluble marker and graphite on paper.
  • Delegates I

    Sketchbook page, 11"x8 1/2", graphite and water-soluble marker on paper. Sketched at the first of three presidential nominating gatherings I attended in Oklahoma.
  • Wild Grass for an Early Spring

    Sketchbook page, 11"x8 1/2", origami and tissue paper cut and glued.
  • Sketchbook, 1972-73

    Short film showing every page, with some commentary.
  • Sketchbook, 1972-73: Bookend 1

    Begun without a plan beyond drawing every day, completing each sketch, and preserving all pages intact whether any given sketch seemed successful.

Sketchbook 1973-1976, Barbara R. Treasure

My second sketchbook of a series begun in 1972 and continuing into the present. Voiceover comments on life in Baltimore City during this time, and my development of art practice and process.

  • We Sail

    From Sketchbook 1973-1976, inspired by Sylvia Tyson's song "We Sail" on the Ampex Records album "Great Speckled Bird," A10103A.
  • Fern and Stones

    From Sketchbook 1973-1976, study in gouache of fern and stones in what is now the Howard P. Rawlings Conservatory in Druid Hill Park. Gouache, something like watercolor but opaque, was already not working for me. I had layered black over layers of gray, and the black paint peeled off as it dried. Not lightfast either, no fun to use, no substitute for markers.
  • River 1

    From Sketchbook 1973-1976, inspired from the Baltimore Museum of Art show "A King's Book of Kings," heartbreakingly beautiful Persian miniature paintings illustrating a classic Persian text. This study eventually became a mural in a Charles Village townhouse.
  • Sick child

    From Sketchbook 1973-1976. Graceful boy, in one of the clinical settings where I worked before finding a full-time art therapy position. Rapidograph pen made beautiful marks, but clogged frequently. I abandoned it as too high-maintenance for my practice.
  • Riverrun

    From Sketchbook 1973-1976, inspired by River 1 (a previous page in this sketchbook) and intended to become an abstract river painting on four shaped canvas stretchers the Fort Worth, TX artist and architect Arthur Weinman made for me. Eventually I used them instead for "House Made of Dawn," which appears in the Watercolor Collage project below on my nomination.
  • Alley-My-Gator, Mean Fevermaker

    Page from Sketchbook 1973-1976, inspired by an old woodcut shown tiny in a book catalog and made during a bout with infectious mononucleosis. Later I chuckled to see that my sore throat, fever-stung eyes, and fevered brow appear on this dragon in color.
  • Mushroom

    From Sketchbook 1073-1976, inspired by an item from my weekly food co-op haul. The Massachusetts artist Ann Solomon saw it later and advised me to learn about Georgia O'Keeffe "because your work reminds me of hers." Thanks for good advice, Ann.
  • Sick girl

    From Sketchbook 1973-1976. Courageous girl shown in charcoal pencil. Rendering seems ham-handed to me, so I abandoned charcoal pencil as I continued to search for a lightfast drawing and coloring medium.
  • Sketchbook 1973-1976, Barbara R. Treasure

    A video, page by page, cover to cover, of the contents of my second sketchbook, with my voice over discussing my experience, practice, and process, and life in Baltimore City during this time.
  • Sketchbook 1973-1976, Barbara R. Treasure

    Building on the momentum I developed in my first sketchbook, my second one, larger in size (11x14"), bulkier to carry with me every day, worth the small trouble. Please watch the video embedded in the next box to see its contents, page by page..

Brush and Book

Sketchbook practice is integral to my teaching. A four-session workshop in watercolor painting for beginners, based in a 7x10" sketchbook which becomes a reference for independent painting. The sessions teach brush handling, color mixing, water management, still life and landscape painting. The fourth session takes place outdoors, weather permitting. The materials kit (required) is artist-quality paint, paper, and accessories, so that students are not fighting poor-quality supplies as they learn. Learning step-by-step, students find that they can't do it wrong.

The first group was only three students taking Brush and Book at Creative Alliance, spring 2010. Their passion and determination were so strong that they demanded a continuing monthly workshop after the course ended. For more than 2 years after, they supported a sequel workshop, Beyond Brush and Book, tailored to specific materials and subjects as these students requested them.

A Baltimore City garden club hired me to teach Brush and Book as their monthly program, reserving four of their meetings for this purpose. Their practice is to hold these meetings in their homes, which lend themselves admirably for the purpose.

I hope to offer Brush and Book to other groups, as a community art project, in schools, after-school programs, staff inservice programs, hospital and other clinical settings.

Meditation on Gray

As Baltimore struggled in the aftermath of the death of Freddie Gray, April 2015, I focused myself on Freddie Gray and his life, which seems like a catalog of what must change in Baltimore. I began a brush meditation using classic watercolor practice to mix gray using complimentary colors (red/green, yellow/purple, blue/orange) in ascending intensity. Four panels became the foundation of an installation, with an unfinished portrait framed in a Gray box, with Gray bandanas for viewers to take away and wear and use. This work will never be for sale. Exhibited in Big Show, Creative Alliance, 2015.

  • Brush meditation tools

    Any paper, clear water, the brush that feels right in your hand, ink ground by hand on a wet stone. All readily available in most art supply stores.
  • Asian Cranes Soar

    According to Peter Matthiessen in "Travels With Great Cranes," red-crested Asian cranes soar without flapping their wings a mile above the peak of Everest when they cross the Himalaya Mountains during migration. i think of them when I must overcome an obstacle or manage unacceptable loss.
  • Freddie Gray, Unfinished Portrait, Unfinished Life

    Graphite on watercolor paper, unfinished portrait from his family's photograph. Not for sale.
  • Detail, Meditation On Gray

    Pure color mixed in degrees of intensity to make gray and be mindful of Freddie Gray during the turmoil following his death. Watercolor on paper.
  • Meditation on Gray

    Mixed media installation in memory of Freddie Gray, an invitation to recognize that lead poisoning, structural poverty, unemployment, inadequate education, and many other problems in Baltimoremust be solved.

Connect with Barbara

Barbara's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.