Artist Nora Rule Barber creates paintings, sculptures and illustrations

Artist Nora Rule Barber is inspired by nature when she works on many of her paintings.

Artist Nora Rule Barber is inspired by nature when she works on many of her paintings.

Whether teaching students or working on her own pieces, Nora Rule Barber’s art career in sculpting, painting and illustrating has been noticed worldwide and locally. 


“I have a lot of different skills, and I have a lot of different ideas,” Barber said. “They collect up in sketchbooks, and some of them get to come to life.”


Rule previously worked for companies that mass-produced her art for buyers all over the world, she said. However, after getting her feet wet in the corporate art world, Barber decided she wanted to begin teaching.


These days, Barber, who lives in Spring, is more involved with local organizations like The Woodlands Art League.


“I realized I wanted to do something that actually affected other people,” Barber said. “That’s when I got into education. I knew I wanted to do more than just make money for my boss.”


Barber moved to Texas two years ago from Florida where she worked as a high school art teacher. About a year ago, she began volunteering with WAL, and she found her niche teaching drawing classes at Hobby Lobby in July.


“I’m really proud that I’ve had students that have gone on to become graphic designers for Whole Foods [Market], and some are graphic designers in New York City,” Barber said. “Some became art teachers, and some just have an amazing knack for art and they kept it with them all these years.”


Barber’s primary mediums are acrylic paint and clay, she said.


A talent Barber maintains on the side is illustrating. She has created pieces including coloring pages, murals and caricatures, she said.


“I call [the sketches] imagination drawing,” Barber said. “Everyone in the world has already published something that’s a coloring book. I need to find the one last company that produces the stuff that didn’t do it yet.”


At the moment, Barber is getting ready for an upcoming art show in Seabrook, and she is hoping to expand her class schedule, she said.


“I haven’t focused on entering every contest around,” Barber said. “I haven’t focused on even getting in a gallery. I’m in the stage where I just want to build my style and build my body of work. I’ll see where things go after that.”

By Beth Marshall
Born and raised in Montgomery County, Beth Marshall graduated from The University of Texas at San Antonio in 2015 with a bachelor's degree in communication and a minor in business. Originally hired as a reporter for The Woodlands edition in 2016, she became editor of the Sugar Land/Missouri City edition in October 2017.