Barbara studied at York School of Art and Leeds College of Education.She is a member of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists as well as an Artist Friend of the Royal Academy of Arts. She has received several awards for her work, four from the Pastel Society Awards, two from the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists and two from the Birmingham Pastel Society.
Barbara Stewart's work is included in the collection of the Royal West of England Academy as well as many Private Collections. She is also a Council Member of the Pastel Society. Artists who she notes have been influential on her work are Cezanne and Van Gogh, the Scottish Colourists, Cadell and Peploe and the St Ives Painters, Ben Nicholson and Christopher Wood.