Barbara Mayfield was born and raised in Philadelphia. She graduated from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In 1991, she left her hometown for northern New Mexico where she lived for for 21 years in the village of Glorieta, 14 miles east of Santa Fe.
Her award-winning, middle-grade novel, The Magical Mrs.Iptweet and Me, was born in the living room of an adobe house on a dirt road six miles outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico, when Mayfield was part of a group of improv storytellers. The voice of the child who narrates Iptweet was developed in this process. Later, Mrs. Iptweet herself came in a dream and spelled her name three times so Mayfield wouldn’t forget it.
Mayfield studied writing for young people with esteemed author / illustratorJennifer Owings Dewey for 12 years and still meets weekly, via Skype, with the Santa Fe Writers Group, all students of Ms. Owings Dewey. This group has birthed the careers of Lizzie Foley (Remarkable), Janie Chodosh (Code Red, Death Spiral, Wisdom from the Field), Jillian Brasch (Last Gifts, Creative Ways to be with the Dying), and Catherine Coulter (Winging It).
Mayfield produced, wrote and puppeteered a six-part series of story-based educational puppet videos for the New Mexico Department of Health Healthy Kids New Mexico program. She wrote and directed social-action theater, based on the true stories of newly-literate adults, for the New Mexico Coalition for Literacy Literacy Theater, which toured the state. Mayfield scripted plays and puppeteered with the New Mexico Museum of Art Teatro Duende troupe and the Gustav Baumann marionettes.
She created and taught her 8-week Room 108 Memoir Writing curriculum at the Free Library of Philadelphia, Main Branch. She teaches Improv Storytelling Workshops in Santa Fe and Philadelphia.
As a visual artist, Mayfield works in oil and acrylic on canvas, panel and paper, and monotype. Her work has been represented by fine galleries in Philadelphia, Washington DC, Stamford CT, and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her paintings and monotypes are found in collections public and private all over the country. She was a mural painter for the Philadelphia Museum of Art Community Programs Department. She is a freelance Color Consultant: ChoosingPaintColor.com. Her artwork can be seen here.
Mayfield has two grown sons, is mad for gardening, and dances the two-step and tango like a pro.