Barbara Stokoe was born in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) on the first of December 1954 to a Dutch mother and a British father, and lived a carefree African childhood in the bush. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Rhodes University in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape, and a Higher Diploma of Education from the University of Natal in Durban, KwaZulu.
In 1982, Barbara and her husband Rodney Hopley started lecturing at the new Art Department of the Vaal Triangle Technikon, where she worked for fourteen years. She built up the Fine Art Painting department, and later, scaling down her commitment to concentrate on her own work, she lectured part-time in the Graphic Design Department.
Barbara has participated in and organised community projects, such as creative classes for street children. Her students have created large public murals in the Vaal Triangle.
Her work has been exhibited at numerous centres around the country.
Barbara and her family live in Vereeniging, Gauteng, in South Africa. They have two children - Anthony and Jessica, who is following her parents' footsteps, studying Communication Art at the University of Pretoria.
At present, Barbara runs the Kariba Art Centre at Kariba Ranch, Glen Donald,
that presents classes and workshops for adults and children.