In my words ...        

To visit my blog, Peter Barker's Palette, please click on the 'Peter Barker's Palette' panel to the right or the Blogger logo above ... I will keep you informed of all forthcoming exhibitions and new paintings from this blog.

As you may have seen from my mini-biography, mine has not been the most natural progression to becoming a professional artist. I was a professional golfer straight after leaving school, from 1972 to 1983, before I finally launched myself into the art world and embarked on a most rewarding and fulfilling career.

I was always into nature as a boy and despite being extremely competitive at sport, it was inevitable that I would somehow be involved with the natural world in some shape or form. Painting has provided me with a way to portray the everyday beauty around us and convey what I see to a wider audience and at the same time provide me with a wonderful living to boot!

It is undoubtedly my naturally competitive streak which has pushed me to strive for perfection of execution in my paintings and at times produced work that is perhaps a little too tight, and not quite as loose as I would prefer. However, my paintings sell and I am eternally grateful to all my patrons who spend not inconsiderable amounts of money to own a Barker original.

In my early days of painting professionally, in the mid 1980s, I was drawn to the work of Gordon Beningfield, the master of the often unseen world of the countryside, especially his unique portrayal of butterflies in their natural habitat, which jolted my boyhood memories and fired me into producing my own paintings of these wonderful creatures. I still do the occasional study of butterflies to this day, in either watercolour, oil or acrylic.

My subject matter has grown much wider these days and I enjoy painting coastal scenes as much as country landscapes. The bulk of my work is in oils, with a much smaller output of pastels, acrylics and watercolours. I still absolutely love the craft of painting and desperately want to live to at least 100 years old, to have the time to paint even a slice of what our wonderful country has to offer in terms of material and light effects. If the viewer can feel the heat of a summers day and almost hear the rustling reeds and buzzing of insects and call of birds, or detect the crunch of frosty grass and squint at low sunlight piercing through trees, then I have hit the mark and achieved what I wanted. Certain light effects can turn an otherwise very ordinary scene into a wonderful subject for a painting, and occasionally, an absolute gem which I cant wait to get down on canvas or paper.

My technique has changed somewhat over the years, for the better I hope, and painting en plein air doesn't carry the fear of being watched that it used to. You cannot improve as a painter if you think you know everything there is to know about art. I find that I am rarely really happy with what I have produced, but the genuinely delighted faces and very kind comments of the buying public at each solo exhibition Private View, really boost the self critical artists confidence and make him think that he must have done a reasonable job after all ! Another thing I have been asked to do is to perform demonstrations and conduct workshops to local art societies, which I have grown to rather enjoy in an adrenalin surged way !

The seemingly constant grafting for one-man-shows has prevented me from submitting any work to the major London Art Societies, but in 2006 I entered some in the Pastel Society and one painting of a pair of swans dabbling in shallow water was accepted, and to my delight, won the Frank Herring Award. Since then I have also submitted work to the Royal Society of Marine Artists (RSMA) and the Royal Institute of Oil Painters (ROI) and had work accepted by all three Societies. I hope to keep submitting paintings when time allows, so keep looking on the Galleries page to view what gets accepted to any of the Mall Galleries Exhibitions.

I'm not a fan of 'modern art' or 'Brit art', whatever it's called, which tends to raise my blood pressure somewhat ! As the great American artist Harley Brown says, A bold con job has been inflicted upon the visual arts: Bad Art is Good Art and Good Art is looked upon with disdain. 

This deceit, sadly, continues and we are constantly bombarded by art critics, galleries and institutions who claim intellectual superiority and gladly promote and underwrite talentless artists who are only too willing to spout unintelligible twaddle about their obscure expressions from the soul, and who, seemingly, have an open door to all cultural media to promote their garbage. Even more sadly, many are duped and will pay ludicrous sums of money for such art, thus ensuring its longevity.

Rant over, anyone who 'gets' modern art, won't enjoy my website, but I, as Harley Brown says, will live very contentedly with their scorn. Those of you who are still reading and don't 'get' it, rejoice and enjoy the content, I hope !

New paintings will be posted at regular intervals, so if you like what you see, thank you and please visit again !

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