Barbara Banthien has been an artist all her life. Even as a young girl, she spent her time drawing the plants and animals around her. After studying art at the Maryland Art Institute in Baltimore, she had a twenty-year career in freelance illustration. For years, she worked in the hectic world of advertising deadlines, but always taped to some corner of her drawing board would be the beginnings of an owl, goose or wolf. It finally made more sense to turn her full attention to these images—the work she really cared about.
Since 1994 she has been following her passion for painting animals. Birds in particular are her muse. Although she works almost every day, she only completes four to six paintings a year. Her process is a slow detailed exploring of the subtle things in nature: the turn of a bird’s head, light on feathers, patterns in a wing.
She lives in Northern California with her husband, Jock.


Born 1950

Maryland Art Institute, Baltimore

Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Birds in Art, Wausau, WI, 1993, 1997, 2000-08, 2012, 2018
Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Regal Bearing, 2018
The Society of Animal Artists, Art and the Animal Annual Exhibition, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2016
Louisiana State University, International Exhibition on Animals in Art, 2007, 2014
Bennington Center for the Arts, Art of the Animal Kingdom, Bennington, VT, 2000, 2001, 2009, 2011 
Bolinas Museum Annual Mini Show, Bolinas, CA, 2009, 2010, 2013
The Society of Animal Artists, Art and the Animal Annual Exhibition, 1999, 2000 – 2003, 2005, 2010, 2012
Marin/Scapes, Larkspur CA 2008
Francesca Anderson Fine Art, 4th Birds of America Show, September 2007
Oakland Museum of California, California Species, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2006
Pacific Wildlife Galleries,Miniatures Show, 2003, 2005, Art of the Lafayette Reservoir, 2006
PictureThis Gallery, Masterpieces in Miniature, Alberta, Canada, 2005, 2006, 2008
Clark Galleries, IV Centuries of Birds in Paintings, Sculpture and Fine Prints, Stowe VT 2004
MacArthur Beach State Park Exhibition, Natural Selections, N. Palm Beach FL 2000, 2003
The Sportsman’s Gallery, Art and the Animal Miniatures Show, Atlanta GA 2002
Bennington Center for the Arts, Art of the Animal Kingdom, Bennington VT 2000, 2001
Leigh Yawkey Woodson Museum and John L. Wehle Gallery of Sporting Art Exhibit, 1999
Ambleside Gallery Exhibition, Grosse Point MI 1998

Highlight Gallery, Mendocino, CA, Featured Artist, June 2019
Highlight Gallery, Mendocino, CA, Birds! 2011
Pelican Studio Gallery, Point Reyes Station CA, Birds of Marin, May 2009
Lindsay Wildlife Museum, Walnut Creek CA 2004
Highlight Gallery, Mendocino CA July 2002
William Lester Gallery, Point Reyes Station CA 2000
Switzer Gallery, Featured Artist, Celebration of Nature, Tiburon CA 1997

GALLERIES: See gallery page

Best in Show, Louisiana State University International Exhibition on Animals in Art 2014
1st Prize Winner, The Artist?s Magazine 22nd Annual Competition, featured in Dec. 2005 issue
The Society of Animal Artists, Award of Excellence, Art and the Animal Exhibition, 2003
Artisans Gallery, Best in Show Award, Birds, 1996
Colorado Bird Observatory, Best Drawing,1994, Best Painting 1995, Songbirds Show
Communication Arts Magazine, Award of Excellence, 1982, 1985, 1992, 1994
Society of Illustrators, 1992-1995, Two Gold Medals, Four Silver Medals, Judges Choice Award

Cover artist, SOUTHWEST ART MAGAZINE, Creatures Great and Small, April, 2008
Twilight, Bird with a Broken Wing, drawings featured in STROKES OF GENIUS, THE BEST OF DRAWING, 2007
October, painting featured in BEST OF WILDLIFE ART, Vol. II, 1999
Great Horned Owl, painting selected for book cover, OWLS OF NORTH AMERICA, 1997
Matilija Poppy, painting selected as poster announcing the Oakland Museum’s California Wildflower Show, 1997
Cover Artist, THE ATLANTIC MAGAZINEThe Politics of Dogs, 1991