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Meet the Artists: Barbara Healy and Robin Nunes

Barbara Edlund Healy is a contemporary artist who uses oils and acrylics to reflect the quiet beauty of the New England coast. A Connecticut native, Barbara fell in love with the area while attending UMASS Dartmouth and stayed. Her degree in textile design has given her a background in color but she often paints plein air to learn from nature. Barbara is a Juried Artist Member of the Cape Cod Art Center and a board member of the Westport Art Group. With a desire to inspire and connect, she teaches painting to other budding artists. Her award-winning paintings have homes in Massachusetts and Rhode Island galleries, and her studio in Dartmouth, MA is on the South Coast Artists Open Studio Tour.

Robin Nunes is a full-time, professional artist who specializes in palette knife painting. This technique adds an abundance of textures and layers, giving her paintings a unique complexity. Robin’s art is a reflection of her own interpretation of images she has captured from Key West to the coast of Padanaram. She has understudied and found great influence from award-winning artist Michele Byrnes. Robin’s newest coastal works are currently being exhibited at Norton’s Framing and Gallery.

What materials do you work with?

Barbara: I am a painter usually using a brush, working mostly with oils, some acrylic paint.  I primarily work on canvas but I am also trying some wood panels. 

Robin:  I work primarily in oil paint.

Tell us about your current body of work. What motivated it?

Barbara: I am inspired by the natural world, connecting to nature and the feeling of peace and joy it brings me. I often look for edges where land meets water, the sky meets a sail.  

“Saltmarsh” Barbara Healy

Robin: My current body of work in the Four Corner Gallery in Tiverton Four Corners are chickens!

Robin Nunes

Do you work full-time as an artist or do you wear other hats?

Barbara: I am now lucky to have time to paint. I retired from being a letter carrier after 33 years.

Robin: I do work full-time as an artist and I also substitute teach in Dartmouth Elementary Schools. 

How do you integrate art into your life and other responsibilities? 

Barbara: I am always thinking about art, looking for inspiration even when walking or kayaking. My artist brain is always comparing colors, observing. 

I am also involved in the art community, on the South Coast Open Studio Tour and many local art organizations. I joined Four Corners Gallery a year ago and although it requires some of my time, being part of a cooperative has given me insight into the business side of art.

Art adventures are high on my to do list. I love checking out art exhibitions, looking for plein air locations and going to the art store. Luckily I have art friends like Robin Nunes that want to go with me.

Robin: It takes precedence for the most part…and I love being an artist!

How has your art practice evolved over the years? 

Barbara: I am working on some larger paintings and taking some risks, trying new ideas. I feel like I have somewhat mastered painting realistically and now am more interested in a more painterly approach.

Robin: I have tried various techniques with a variety of workshops…painting with a palette knife is my main venue.

“Looking on the Bright Side” Barbara Healy

What or who inspires you? 

Barbara: I often get my subject matter inspiration from nature but my artist friends really inspire me with their fabulous artwork and being on this art journey together. 

Robin: Nature is perhaps the single thing that inspires me most of all. I marvel at its beauty, and then try to duplicate the beauty I see.

Who are some of your favorite artists? 

Barbara: Van Gogh and Sargent. Some contemporaries: Jamie Wyeth, Larry Horowitz, Mary Moquin.

Robin:  There are so many incredible artists that have and do inspire my art. My favorite all time living artists are palette knife artist, Michele Byrne and oil artist Stuart Denkel.

How is community important to you as a practicing artist? 

Barbara: I love being part of the local artist community. I paint with a wonderful plein air Westport Art Group Thursday mornings in nice weather.  I like sharing ideas with other artists and learning from them.  Being part of an organization like South Coast Artists with so many professional, successful artists has really pushed me to be a better artist.

I was recently accepted for Signature Membership into the National Association of Women Artists.

Robin: Community has always played an important role as a practicing artist. I have been giving back to the local communities by offering art lessons to children. I always donate several paintings annually to specific causes, animal sanctuaries, local animal rescue facility, Buttonwood Zoo, Westport Watershed Alliance, Mattapoisett Harbor Days, and the Women’s Center are some of my favorites.

“Emma and the NB Yacht Club” Robin Nunes

What is the biggest challenge you face as an artist?  

Barbara: Figuring out new directions for my artwork (and organizing my studio)!

Robin: The biggest challenge I face as an artist is knowing what and how to paint.

What are your goals for the future?

Barbara: I want to challenge myself to be more expressive. I also want to do more teaching, I love helping other artists get that aha moment when they are happy with their artwork.

Robin: I would like to paint more often and possibly like to be represented by more galleries around our beautiful country.

Where can people find and connect with you (in person or online):



  • Instagram: @nunesrobin

Both Barbara and Robin are integral part of Four Corners Gallery in Historic Tiverton Four Corners, Rhode Island. They will be teaming up again in another duo-show at Central Gallery in Providence, Rhode Island November 2024.