Barbara Walton grew up one block away from the Mississippi River in Davenport, Iowa. She is the youngest of 5 children and the first-born U.S. citizen of a German immigrant family. She does not recall a time when art was not a part of her life. Having dropped out of school after her first attempt at college to vagabond around Europe, it was later when she received a BFA (1991) and an MA (1993) from Iowa State University and an MFA from Drake University (1996).
Mainly a painter, in 2002, she began experimenting with encaustic painting. Her work has been exhibited widely in juried national and international venues as well as solo and invitational exhibits. In 2011, she applied for and received an Iowa Arts Council Major Grant.
Walton is an Associate Professor who has been teaching drawing and painting in the College of Design at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa since 1993.