Barbara Podmore Headshot

Barbara was born and grew up in Zimbabwe, which is a country rich in art and artists. She has always loved drawing and painting. She feels a deep need to try to create what she sees in her mind’s eye. When she was eight years old, she began spending a week of every school holidays staying with her grandparents, so that she and her Grandmother could paint together in an old chicken shed in the garden, both of them learning as they went. Her  Grandmother would paint flowers (she had just retired from working as a florist), and Barbara would paint a variety of subjects – animals, (particularly wildlife and horses) and portraits. She would leaf through the many art books, find a painting that appealed to her, and try to copy it.

Barbara is interested in a wide variety of subjects and is a voracious reader. She studied Psychology and Pastoral Counselling at University and is fascinated by archetypes and symbols.

Barbara moved to Botswana at the start of 2009, she joined an informal art class led by artist Garth Kitching, which inspired her to pursue her long-held dream of a career as an artist, she paints daily, accompanied by coffee, the smell of turpentine and classical music. 

Since childhood, she have loved being in the African bush and seeing wildlife. During her time in Botswana she focused on African wildlife and birds. She wants to contribute to preserving the wild places of our world.

In 2013, Barbara entered the Botswana Wildlife Artist of the Year competition, hosted by Cameras for Conservation ( for the first time. Her entry was selected as the Overall Winner. In 2014, she entered two paintings in the same competition. “Hope?” was selected as the Winner in the endangered category. It was donated and auctioned to raise funds for rhino conservation. “The Beautiful Time of the Day” won overall first place. 

Barbara moved to New Zealand in 2019. She decided that it was time to re -image her art work. She took 3 months off from painting and spent time dreaming and thinking about what she would paint if she could paint absolutely anything she wanted to. Years ago she had visited the Tate Modern. She didn’t like much of the work, but loved a small surreal Salvadore Dali piece called Narcissus. Many strands lead her to think about painting surreal art (including a suggestion from her husband that she add a fire hydrant to her wildlife art to make it more interesting (they are still married)).

During the process of re-inventing her art, she fell in love with surreal art, and has planned more than fifty pieces, including twenty in the “Who would like some more ice” Series. Each painting takes four to six weeks. 

Barbara’s medium of choice is oil paint on canvas. She loves colour – both rich, vibrant colours, and delicate, muted colours. She uses colour like a language, both powerful and nuanced. 

Her paintings can be found in New Zealand, Australia, America, Britain, Dubai, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Botswana. 

If you have an idea for a painting that you would like to commission, please contact her – she enjoys a challenge!