Tom Barnes


Tom Barnes

Tom Barnes

I am a water colorist with a strong sense of color, color theory and saturation of pigments. I layer several colors of transparent washes in different hues to give a depth and strength to the work. I use techniques such as lifting, salting, and rag rolling to achieve the different effects on my papers. I have a palette of 13 colors that helps develop a theme in my paintings. I add splashes on 14 K Liquid Gold Leaf to the finished product to give a special touch that is most eye-catching at evening and in candlelight.

I often outline my pencil sketches with sepia, Prussian blue or indigo. I drag a clear water brush across the line to soften it and begin to define shading and shadows. I brush in gambouge highlights and then begin to wash over these effects with my palate colors. I then work color on color, saturating the pigments to give the deepest and most intense color.

tom-barnes-at-work-in-his-studio-1200x1200My styles vary depending on subject matter. I am very expressionistic with florals, very representative with stills, whimsical with the “long neck ladies” and almost story-book with the landscapes. I am influenced by all manner of artists from Impressionists to Modigliani to German Expressionists to Pre-Raphaelites. My most recent study has been of Kandinsky.

The style of my painting is unusual in watercolor circles. It is one developed over the last 10 years of painting in earnest, changing and stretching, allowing who I am to dictate the outcome. So it is very true to me that when people buy my art, they buy a little of me. The expressions on paper you observe are tell-tale snippets of my temperament: delight in the earth’s abundant glories, peace with the life process, and excitement over what is yet to come. There is not a lot of angst in my life and I hope that comes through in my paintings. My most coveted response is when someone comes into my display and says, “This stuff makes me happy!”

A word about commissions: I am pleased to offer commissioned work for your particular needs. It is not insulting to me to try to blend my art with your d├ęcor. Painting to match the couch is not the goal, but painting to create a piece in that special size, with those special color emphases, of that special image is something I truly enjoy. And we are not limited in what we can do together. Since community is vital to the creative process, I am happy to listen to your ideas and share my own responses. Over the years, I have rarely produced a piece that was unacceptable and I have been willing on all counts to give a satisfaction guarantee.

Tom Barnes
tombarnesfineart.com