Bob Barker Limited Edition & Original Art – M P Gallery
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.
However, as life goes on, marriage to my lovely wife, mortgage to whoever was the cheapest, and children who I wouldn’t be without, meant that painting remained as a hobby. I ran my own business in video and media production for more than 20 years and this took me around the country and abroad, filming for many clients and running workshops teaching primary school and A-level students the art of video making. My daughter-in-law now runs the business and this has released me to achieve my lifelong dream of being a working artist.
In 2000, I started selling my paintings to local galleries and through them my work went nation-wide. My older brother Colin ever-so-nicely, yet relentlessly, forced CD’s featuring my images on to many fine art publishers. This created a good interest in my work. In 2005, I exhibited at the Autumn Fair in Birmingham and there I was introduced to Glyn Washington of Washington Green and the rest, as they say, is history.
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