Margaret Barker was born on 6 June 1907 and grew up in Sydenham, South London, where she was educated in the local school. In 1925 she was awarded a scholarship to the Royal College of Art where her teachers included William Rothenstein and Randolph Schwabe. While at the college she entered her work for the Prix de Rome and exhibited at the New English Art Club. After leaving the Royal College of Art in 1929 she taught art at a number of girls schools near Birmingham until her marriage to Kenneth Pringle, a dental surgeon, in 1938. During this period she also spent two months convalescence in Florence. The Pringles lived in central London until the war when Margaret and their young son moved to the North Devon coast to escape the bombing; after the Blitz they returned to London. Though the 1930s were her most productive period, Barker continued to paint during and after the war. She produced mostly landscapes, though she also painted portraits of friends and imaginative figures. After the sudden death of their son in the early 1960s the Pringles left London for North Kent and Margaret's painting tailed off somewhat, though she did produce some watercolour landscapes. Kenneth Pringle died in March 1983 and Margaret subsequently returned to live in Sydenham.