Born in 1954 in Yorkshire- Bob Barker grew up without interest or love for art until his twelfth birthday when his mother gave him an oil painting set for a birthday present- what he describes as one of the best presents
I have ever received. Starting there he has painted his whole life but it's only recently that Barker became a full time painter.
Not far from his school his mother worked as a weaver and his grandmother as a tea lady- which developed his love of tea and the busy old-world atmosphere around the mill. He then spent a little time in Cornwall where he met two artists of particular importance to his life- Keith English and Tom Gower. Through conversations and sessions of watching
them paint- he began to believe he could be a professional artist.
Life moved along swiftly and he became married- bought a house and had children- developing his painting skill as a hobby rather than a profession while he supported himself and his family on his own business
in video and media production- lasting over 20 years. Eventually his daughter-in-law succeeded him and took over the business-
releasing him to pursue his life-long passion in fine art.
Beginning in 2000- Barker began selling paintings to local galleries and over time his work was distributed nation-wide. His older brother- Colin- frequently pushed CDs featuring Barker's artwork on it onto multiple fine art publishers- growing interest in his work. Exhibiting in the 2005
Autumn Fair in Birmingham- he met Glyn Washington of Washington Green.
Barker's painting style is unique- mysterious- nostalgic. Like so many old films that you can't remember the name of- the mystique his paintings give off is a rarity matched only by the singular details such as the vividity of a crimson umbrella- the colour of the sky or the strength of the clothes on a pair of children- all in contrast to a stark- even bleak- background. However- it is this simple and distinct contrast of the underdog saturated subject versus the desaturated environment that
provokes strong feelings of nostalgia and select memories- creating a vast variety of powerful works.