Barbara McCann has had an interest in painting since her childhood. She was born in New Castle, Pennsylvania in 1948. She had no formal training in her youth, but chose instead to go about educating herself by seeking out those teachers she most admired and felt could offer the best instruction.
Graduating from high school in 1966, McCann took an apprenticeship position in architectural illustration. It was meant to be an interim education prior to college. Instead, it became the means of support for her real passion: painting. She learned drafting, perspective, and most importantly, how buildings are constructed - a skill which became important to her as a painter of architectural landscapes. She then moved on to freelance in several major cities, working with some of the most distinguished architects and designers.
In 1973, McCann came to Florida and fell in love with the bright, blue sky, turquoise water and lush landscapes. She stayed and opened her own studio specializing in architectural illustration. She began taking oil painting lessons from noted Santa Fe artist Marilyn Bendell. It was here that she developed her love of color.
In 1978, McCann was ready for a change, something quick, spontaneous, and fluid ... watercolor! She devoured everything she could find on watercolor technique and then sought out the teachers she most admired in this medium. Charles Reid, Valfred Thelin, and Wayne Sessions were among her favorites. Some taught abstract and others representational art styles. It was during this period that Barbara began to focus on painting landscapes, a subject that still holds her interest today.
In the early 80's, McCann joined the faculty of the Ringling College of Art and Design, one of the top five art schools in the nation, where she presently teaches drawing and illustration. In the late 80's, she began serious work with a palette knife, developing her skill with it over the next several years. She released her first limited edition print in 1992 with Wentworth Galleries.