Barbara has always loved art. As a young girl Barbara would visit a secluded site in the woods neighboring her upstate New York home to observe and sketch birds in their natural habitat. As a Girl Scout, she was first introduced to painting by her den mother and her love of painting began in those classes.
She attended the State University of New York at New Paltz achieving her Bachelor of Science degree and the University of New York at Albany for her graduate work in Art Education. At New Paltz, Barbara studied under Professor Sheldon Schoenberg whom she credits with teaching her the fundamentals of observation and the fundamentals of drawing. She believes this intense focus on drawing was the foundation for her tendency toward more realistic paintings. After teaching in the New York school system for 10 years she moved to Florida where she worked as editor and graphic artist for a trade association magazine before joining the staff of a multinational corporation.
“Waterway at Millennium Garden” by Barbara Moak Willey
In her spare time, her first love was always painting. As a painter with a wide range of subject matter including still-life, land and seascapes and animals she worked in acrylic until she decided to enroll in a class in oil painting in 2015. Although her range of subjects remains the same, the body of works in oil primarily encompasses landscapes and seascapes.
Her work has been exhibited at restaurant openings as well as private galleries and interior design boutiques. She has sold commissioned works in New York, Virginia and Florida and her works have been purchased by private collectors throughout the United States. Barbara has exhibited her works at Tada Gallery and the Carrollwood Cultural Center in Tampa, where she is currently the featured artist.