Barrie Barnett, great-granddaughter of a prominent American Impressionist, started her formal art training at the age of nine in classical realism in Baltimore. By age 20, she was painting portraits, and began studying with top portrait painters. Barrie then spent 15 years painting children, mainly for families in the American Southeast. She worked with agents including Portraits South and Portraits, Inc. in New York City.
In 1998, she switched to specializing in dogs after she was offered a solo show of dog paintings in New York’s Upper East Side, followed by solo shows in Palm Beach and Carmel.
Barrie became known as an artist working in pastels and was invited to teach at the Pastel Society of America in New York. For a 2011 feature article on her, one of her agents said “her work in pastel is the best I’ve ever seen for a living artist. It is extraordinary.”