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Barbara H. Rabkin

“ I make art like I bake sour dough bread: with a big appetite and with great enjoyment in the hands-on process. My bread requires that I follow recipes; my art dictates that I improvise and experiment with multiple media.  

In art, I take my cues from my environment, my memories, my moods. I create when I’m happy or wish to feel happy. I borrow gladly and with appreciation from artists, especially 20th c expressionists. 

It is color which takes the leading role in my work. Whatever the medium, I explore how colors relate to one another, how they generate responses, how they evoke moods. My paper weavings and collages in particular,  are a process of unearthing a new expression  through intentional or accidental placement of color.  

Art for me is very much about returning to the joy of childhood, when I played freely with crayons, paint, clay, scissors, needle and thread.   Now, when my fingers and hands engage physically with whatever media I choose - paper, fabric, paint, clay, stone- cutting, tearing, breaking, weaving, painting, pasting, and I allow myself to be spontaneous, when I find new patterns and pleasing shapes,  then I feel energized and   exhilarated.  That for me is the joy I try to capture and share. 

Art for me is about self discovery: what do I want to say and how do I want to say it. As with baking- I feel such joy when it turns out well.  And both art and bread are best when shared. 

Barbara Rabkin, a self-educated multi-media artist, taught and exhibited her art in her hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio. She continued to teach and show her art in Panama, where she and her late husband lived for 9 years.

Barbara currently lives and creates art in her home studio in Carmel Valley, San Diego. 

Barbara developed her interest in painting on silk when requested to make a wedding chuppa for her oldest son. She continued to develop this art form, creating Judaica and wearable art  for clients and teaching silk painting privately and at the Art Academy of Cincinnati’s community education program. 

In Panama, Barbara opened a studio and taught silk painting to visiting tourists as well as residents from throughout the region. She also took advantage of the colorful culture and impressive landscapes to create large quilted  impressionistic tapestries in her hand dyed silk, as well as watercolors and acrylic paintings.

Barbara’s art- acrylics, watercolors, oils, pencil, collages, mosaics, clay, textiles- shows her affinity for the rich colors and bold lines of the expressionists. 

Barbara’s commissions and other works  are in private collections throughout Panama, Israel, Europe and the US. ​


Art Alliance, Oceanside Museum of Art  Sept 2022

Two person show BFree Studio, La Jolla, CA April/May 2022

La Jolla Art and Wine, La Jolla CA Sept 2021

Group show- Lux, Encinitas CA Feb. 2019

Spanish Village, La Jolla CA April 2016

David,PA Convention Center Expo 2015

Installation - Retrogusto, Boquete, Panama Nov. 2015

Solo show Biblioteca de Boquete, Dec 2015 

Solo show Mango, Boquete Panama Feb 2014 

Solo show Manolo Caracol, Casco Viejo Panama City Mar 2013

Expo Helene  Breebaart, Panana Cuty, Panama 2011

Solo show- Expo Orquideas, Boquete, Panama April 2009

A message to my Granddaughters:

This digital diary of my art is for you.

I have been blessed to be a mother, and to be your grandmother. I have been blessed to make a mark for good on the communities where I have lived. I have been blessed with an urge to create- Artist, Crafter, Maker, Baker - finding joy in trying new means of expression. 

My hope is that you will live full and meaningful lives with your eyes, mind and heart wide open, and bravely make your own true mark.

Welcome to My Life (so far) in Color. 


Born in Atlantic City NJ in 1945

Childhood in Cincinnati OH

Carmel Valley, San Diego CA 2017-present

Boquete, Panama 2008-2017

Cincinnati OH 1973-2008

Israel 1970-72

George Washington University BA Political Science 1967

Columbia University BScNursing 1974

Artist Statement and Bio: Artist Statement and Bio

Celebrating my 75th birthday

with my San Diego granddaughters Jolene and Talia

Artist Statement and Bio: Image
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