About Barbara and the IACC

Barbara Jacobs, Color Consultant from Sonoma

A bit about California Environmental Color Consultant, Barbara Jacobs…
Originally from Minnesota, in 2015 Barbara moved from living in Massachusetts to Sebastopol, CA. Her father, William Saltzman, was a well known Midwestern painter, sculptor and stained-glass artist. Barbara enjoyed growing up in an environment rich in color and surrounded by a variety of fine art. In that environment, she experienced many opportunities to explore a wide variety of art materials. “Environmental Color” is the term Barbara enjoys using to refer to her color design work with the color that surrounds us in the built environment.

Barbara’s formal artistic education includes studies at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence, Italy, and the University of California, Berkeley, where she studied with Adja Yunkers and David Hockney. She studied fine arts at the University of Minnesota, receiving her Bachelor of Arts in studio art with a concentration in painting and printmaking.

Bringing Artistry to Environmental Color

Known as an innovator in the field of color design in the built environment, Barbara has a noteworthy design background. In addition to her personal artwork, since 1986 she has helped to create supportive environments for a great number of clients in their homes and workplaces. She continues her ongoing practice as an architectural color consultant for interior and exterior color choices in residential and commercial locations of all sizes. Projects include online color consulting for “long distance” as well as “on-site” consultations, both local and traveling to further locations.

Artistic Finishes and Full-Spectrum Paints
From 1986 to 2006, Barbara specialized in creating and installing artistic decorative finishes and murals for residential and commercial clients. The materials  she used included glazes and Venetian plasters that she applied in a variety of techniques. During that time, she also developed a line of 32 colors in “full spectrum” paints—using no black or gray in any of the color mixtures. She named this collection of colors  “EcoHues.” These unique paint colors became favorites among her clients, who often requested them for use in their homes.

The designation “Full Spectrum Paints” originated with Ellen Kennon, a designer and long-time friend of Barbara. It was through collaboration with Ellen that Barbara developed her full-spectrum paint line, “EcoHues.” 
Most of all, Barbara’s fascination with color and color-mixing continues, as she always approaches each project as an artist.

About Barbara’s Unique Design Projects
Barbara has held a long-time fascination with textiles, traditional and modern surface design, and rug design. It was through the inspiration from these interests that she created and developed the original series of custom, hand-knotted Tibetan rugs of her own design, which she called “Silk Road Weaves.” She continues to explore using her original artwork in unique ways, for her design clients as well as for her own enjoyment.

An IACC Accredited Color Designer
Barbara received accreditation status in 2000 through theIACC (International Association of Color Consultants). Her work has been published internationally through that organization. She has been acknowledged as an expert in the field of applied color psychology and supportive color design. Barbara has also interviewed, and published with, numerous national professional and shelter media, both in print and online. These articles have been focused on the subject of supportive color design, color trends, and selecting colors for interiors and architecture.

Artist’s Statement
I enjoy working with a variety of materials and processes. My scale of work ranges from very small to larger, more complex pieces. Personal favorite media include pastels, some water media, colored pencils, paper-and-ink, and various textures like Venetian plaster and organic materials, including even sometimes “found objects.”  Because photography and digital work also play a role in many pieces, I’ve enjoyed applying those media in many mew works and series’. Some might call it “inconsistent”—but frankly, what I enjoy most is to explore combinations, finding out about different materials, and experiencing where they lead. Sometimes the process is a simpler, direct drawing or color work. And another piece might include many layers and materials, as inspiration dictates.

Most of all, my artwork tends to not be too literal. I prefer to leave quite a bit  to the viewer’s imagination. Furthermore, I always try to offer an unspoken (or sometimes, literally, spoken) invitation to the viewer to participate in the “story” from his or her own personal perspective of what is happening in a particular work. In addition, I can appreciate the serious side, but also can enjoy injecting my own sense of humor or irony into the subjects and style.

I’m very happy at this time to explore and share my personal artwork in more depth and breadth. Please enjoy this view to find out more about it.

What’s the Inspiration?
When people ask about this, they are often surprised that my inspiration is not “topical.” Rather, I typically draw Inspiration from geology, history, mythology, and organic materials. Also life experiences, people I meet, and current events play a big part in my creative process. Other inspirations stem from historical and traditional cultures’ uses of color and pattern in surface design, and the symbolism and roles of those elements in their worlds. In many cases, actual physical materials and supplies become the kick-off point to start new work.

Windows to Imagination - front cover - coloring book and color journal
Windows to Imagination – front cover

Most recently, Barbara is author of the new coloring book that is “not only for adults…” Windows to Imagination, Coloring Your Way to Stress Relief and Meditation—a coloring book + color journal in two parts

If you are a media or gallery representative, please direct  your inquiries using our contact form.  We’ll get right back to you. Thanks for your interest!

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