Barbara Rae CBE RA was born in Falkirk, Scotland. She studied at the Edinburgh College of Art 1961-1965 (where she still lives and works today) and was awarded a Postgraduate Scholarship and then a travel scholarship to France and Spain.
Barbara Rae is a highly acclaimed painter and printmaker and her abstract works affirm her incredible gift as a colourist. Her works are often inspired by specific places which she uses as departure points for a flight of colour and
sweeping compositions. Rae uses washes of bold colour; merging form, line and hue into each other with dynamic composition, breaking up the picture surface with thrusting lines. The works draw the viewer into the artist's vision, emitting energy and warmth. Rae rejects the term "landscape painter" because the patterns and items left behind as traces of human presence are her prime interest.
Barbara Rae was elected President of the Society of Scottish Artists in 1983. She was made a member of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1992 and a Royal Academician in 1996. She has been a member of the Royal Fine Art Commission for Scotland since 1995 and was a member of the Board of the British School at Rome in 1998. In 1999 she was awarded a CBE and received an Honorary Doctorate from Napier University, Edinburgh. She has also been awarded Honorary Doctorates from Aberdeen and St Andrews Universities. Rae is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Art and is an Honorary RE.
Barbara Rae has exhibited regularly nationally and internationally. Her work can be found in public and private collections around the world.