In many of the watercolors, oil paintings or other pieces she has created, Franklin artist Barbara Bullard finds herself reliving a memory.
It might be through an overturned glass bottle, marbles of various colors or a vase filled with flowers that had regenerated from her mother’s garden. Her works of art are deeply personal, with each one representing a special place or time.
“Most of my subject matter tends to be items or people that are nostalgic to me,” said Bullard, now a full-time artist who taught the subject for 20 years at Brentwood High School. “I hope that people who look at my work bring their own story to it.
“While my subject seems commonplace, almost of it has a story and history for me.”
After retiring from teaching in 2017, Bullard has stayed quite busy in her art studio and in her participation in a number of organizations, arts councils and nonprofits.
She is a member of the Tennessee Watercolor Society, where she has earned signature status. She is also active in the Tennessee Art League, the Nashville Artist Guild, and the Arts and Business Council of Nashville, which recently named her Nashville Artist of the Week and featured her work on the Nashville Billboard.
Bullard has been involved with the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg for many years and is currently serving her fourth term on its board of governors and has been named vice president of the board.
Bullard has competed in many juried exhibitions at the local, regional and national level, receiving awards for drawing, painting and mixed media. She was recently named a National Woman in the Arts by the National Society of the DAR.
This year, she was awarded second place at the GCVAA National Juried Exhibition, received the Marilyn Brisbois memorial award at the Tennessee Watercolor Society juried exhibition, and received first place for watercolor at the NSDAR National American Heritage Competition.
At the local level, Bullard designed a series of mosaics for a community piece that was installed inside Bethlehem Methodist Church. Throughout her artistic life, she has helped friends and neighbors with a variety of large and small art projects.
And Friday at Parks Realty at Harpeth Square, Bullard will be returning to the Franklin Art Scene through a “dual display” with Nolensville artist Todd Saal.
Although Bullard is basking in her current world of art, she still holds a fondness for her teaching days.
“I loved teaching,” she said. “I loved it as much on the day I left it as the day I started it. It was just wonderful. The students were so talented and it was fun to see them grow artistically. But my favorite thing was a student who didn’t realize they had talent, and to watch them do something well and just light up.
“I’ve had a lot of careers in the art field, but I truly loved teaching.”
Visit Bullard’s Instagram page for more information and to view some of her artwork.