Nostalgic New Collection by Bob Barker

Bob Barker’s work is popularly collected due to its romantic quality, proving there is always hope even in the darkest of days. Barker’s work is centred around an open narrative with a small flash of colour giving a spark of love, nostalgia or optimism. He has created a whole collection of work for Autumn 2012 containing six impressive modern day master pieces. His work is emotional and yet he uses a very deep and dark colour palette, his work is incredibly up lifting and powerful.

We Go Together Like A Wish & A Smile by Bob Barker

We Go Together Like A Wish & A Smile by Bob Barker

Bob goes on to talk about his work, inspiration and life experiences, “It was on Christmas morning, when I was twelve years old, that my mother gave me one of the best presents I have ever received – an oil painting set. That was the start and I have been painting ever since. I was immediately captivated by what could be achieved with a brush, some oil paint and a few small squares of hardboard; I used to paint on the reverse side because I thought it looked like proper canvas.”

“My mother was a weaver in a mill not far from my school and when my day there ended, I used to walk to the mill and wait for her to finish work. I loved the smell of the looms and talked to everybody in the spinning sheds, the burling and mending room, the winders and tuners, along with my grandmother who was the ‘cha’ lady there. This is where my love of tea comes from, as well as the images I now paint. With no formal training I have just enjoyed painting in many different styles and with numerous subjects, developing and honing my techniques of brush and palette knife.”

“Although I am Yorkshire born and bred, during my youth I spent a little while in Cornwall. There I met two prominent artists (Keith English & Tom Gower) and spent hours watching them paint. Conversations with them made me believe I could be a professional artist.”

Whale of A Time by Bob Barker

Whale of A Time by Bob Barker

Here Yesterday by Bob Barker

Here Yesterday by Bob Barker

“I believe that inspiration somehow comes from within. This always ‘kicks in’, so to speak, as I see ideas for paintings which are almost everywhere I look – from the sky to buildings, at dawn or at sunset, even at night under a bright moon. Add to these the weather and the pictorial list becomes endless.”

“Nostalgia also spurs me to paint by looking back to childhood memories with adult eyes; this allows me to be quite free artistically. In my neck of the woods, with the subjects I paint, most people see soot blackened stone and polluted skies. I see colour. Like wet Sienna cobbles and Prussian blue shadows with burnt umber and cadmium skies. I view the world, along with my memories, in the subtle blended hues of my paint box.”

“Where I live it is impossible to walk a dozen yards from home without seeing old weavers’ cottages, cotton and woollen mills, Yorkshire stone flags or cobbled streets that have been there for decades settling in and maturing, watching the landscape change around them. Every day I get to see and paint this history and people get to share it with me through my paintings. How wonderful is that!”

Into Every Life A Little Rain by Bob Barker

Into Every Life A Little Rain by Bob Barker

Just Chips by Bob Barker

Just Chips by Bob Barker

“Before I squeeze the first drop of oil onto my palette I sit and gaze at the blank canvas, sometimes for quite a while. With music always playing in the background I visualise the composition, change the colour of the sky, nudge buildings into new locations, make it rain and many more combinations until I am happy, in my mind, how the work is going to look. I then make a few very quick lines on the canvas, just to set the scene, because by now I am impatient to get some paint on the canvas.”

“I do not have a set way of creating a piece as I love experimenting with the way oil paint can be applied, but I usually start with the sky as this establishes the mood and the all important light for the rest of the picture. As I enter the artistic time warp where hours seem to fly by in seconds, I tend to loosen up and paint quite quickly, getting the majority of the picture done in one sitting.”

“Although being naturally right handed, whilst in this state, I sometimes find myself swapping the brush or palette knife to my left hand, applying a few strokes and then swapping back. Albeit, if I try to use my left hand consciously, the results would be consigned to the ‘need to be painted over pile’.”

“When the initial painting is dry I usually re-work it by applying glazes (these are thin washes of oil paint which allow the colour of the under-painting to show through) either to the whole canvas or to individual areas, thus creating more intense contrasts which in turn achieves a more luminous quality and greater depth to the piece.”

With Ladder & With Light by Bob Barker

With Ladder & With Light by Bob Barker

For more information about Bob Barker and his work visit:

Bob Barker at Artworx Gallery

Alternatively call 01543 502971 or email
Artworx Gallery, Cedars Business Park, Avon Road, Cannock, Staffordshire WS11 1QJ.

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