art practice

Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to work on a number of incredible projects in both art, craft + design that have allowed me to grow + synthesize ideas, techniques + approach. 

My work in making + painting + sculpture is inspired by using indigenous materials + techniques long treasured in Newfoundland + other worldly places. 

I hope you’ll enjoy viewing my work as much as I enjoyed creating it. 

Go ahead and explore, reach out if you’d like to learn more, come by my artstudio in Bonavista, I am at work daily...

I am always available to talk (enthusiastically) about process, inspiration and techniques.



2018 Award for Interpretation of Provincial History

Houston's full size kelp sheep pay homage to the resilient + resourceful nature of folks and their flocks here in Newfoundland. Made entirely of reclaimed, up cycled and indigenous materials they reference the history, heritage and culture around sheep farming in outport communities. 

Certificate of Authenticity

traces origin + history

woven over an armature of reclaimed fishing flake wire, formwork mesh, metal strapping, weathered wood and black spruce

sustainably harvested kelp & eel grass

Detail, head of laminated plywood wth ears from delaminated ply - charred to preserve and weatherproof, ear tag from a spent rifle casing, and of course, kelp, wrack + eel grass


24786-18-4, Flora, fourth in the flock of kelp sheep




whether made of wool (isn't that tautological?)
or kelp (isn't that original!)

Award Winning kelp sheep are made from kelp + wrack + eel grass collected from the shores along the coast of Newfoundland, these little gems are inspired by outport communities that have kept sheep for over 200 years, wintering inland+ summers on nearby islands, these kelp sheep (+ their wool cousins) are a testament to the resilience + resourcefulness of the folks + their flocks

Magazine Pile

painting, drawing, sketching

the joy in a piece of graphite, a walnut ink, on the end of a treasured brush, those are the beginnings, the surface, the materials its texture colour and meaning take that joy to another level


All painting is an accident. But it's also not an accident because one must select what part of the accident one chooses to preserve. 

Francis Bacon




Bonavista , NL


As a multidisciplinary artist my working method practice is a simultaneous exploration of contemporary and traditional forms of representation. My goal is to innovate + to find new relationships + meaning in materials. In painting, drawing and sculpture I draw on materiality as part of my composition and concepts + engage a wide spectrum of tools, both technical, functional and aesthetic to inform my work. 

I have a unwavering commitment to shaping ideas whether in art, craft, design and life.



Head of a design office for 25 years, my background includes a Master of Architecture, a Bachelor of Environmental Studies as well as Fine Arts; our office created engaging, innovative solutions in the built environment; architecture, interiors, landscape, product + brand/identity. 

Our ability to cross over + through each of these disciplines both technically + aesthetically created insight + innovation.

for me, design is an everyday occurrence.



Grounded by the Prairies, I left to explore NYC + then the world. My professional career in architecture + design was full of long term aspirations + a longing to express myself through my art. Canada gave me an opportunity to return to art. I left everything on the west coast + arrived on the east coast; 

my genesis + my renaissance.

[Canada my salvation, Newfoundland my liberator]



Interested in learning more about what is in the Gallery, about the SHEEP SHoP, or what I am working on in my ArtStudio or collaborating on an upcoming project? Feel free to reach out anytime, I would be more than happy to chat.

6 Fitzgerald's Lane + Church Street, Bonavista, Newfoundland  A0C 1B0, Canada

1+709 989 0239


6 Fitzgerald's Lane + Church Street, Bonavista, Newfoundland  A0C 1B0, Canada

1+709 989 0239

©2020 by barbarahouston artstudio