Love of Painting Infuses All Aspects of Artist's Life
Kane, Arthur, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Arthur Kane Daily Herald Staff Writer
Nearly every important event in Barbara Albin's life is somehow connected to painting.
And the Cary artist would not have it any other way.
"For me it is a release," Albin said in her studio. "I'm free to express what is in my spirit."
Albin started drawing when she was 4 years old, but art stretches in her family even before she was born.
Her grandfather, August Barth, helped with the restoration of the Water Tower building in Chicago during the Depression as part of the Works Progress Administration.
She painted Barth and his friends from an old picture, and it is one of her favorite works.
Her father was a baker, and while that may not sound too artistic, Albin said he made an art out of cakes.
"His favorite part was decorating the cakes," she said.
Three years after she started drawing, Albin was struck with polio, which started to paralyze her body.
But even the dreaded disease, which she eventually recovered from, could not stop her artistic drive.
"I would tell my mom to put crayons between my toes so I could draw," Albin said.
Years later, she switched from crayons to watercolors and acrylics.
Most of her public work is abstract contemporary watercolors or realistic work from photos of life in the 1940s and 1950s.
During the 1960s, she painted pictures with a social theme, but those were not works she wanted others to see.
"I saw a picture of a boy in Vietnam with burns all over his body, and I just had to draw it," she said. …