I was once asked if I ever did abstract paintings? I replied " Yes I do, all the time... and from a certain distance my paintings look like this "....
An Artist’s disclosure
There is nothing I have seen anyone doing that I would rather do, yet
there is nothing so exasperating, disturbing and rewarding to me as
drawing and painting.
From the age of six my architect father noticed my curiosity and
attempts to render my three dimensional world two-dimensionally. He
gave me an early grasp of the phenomenon of perspective that
continues to remain one of my most powerful perceptual tools. Along
with those, the control of colour and form were taught by my art
These tools allow me to create the illusion of light, space and form on a
After a lifetime of painting I know that this methodology and style are not
‘gifts’, but rather skills acquired through commitment and constant
Before starting a painting I need to achieve a state of stilling usually
attended by rituals of preparation of a board, brushes, paints and may
include memories or references to the original on-site working sketch,
often with notes scribbled on the image.
When I paint I see only pure transparent colour in patches, dots, lines
and edges - then quite suddenly toward the end, the illusion of
As my American artist friend, Ed Maher described - ‘Out of a very
unlikely combination of squiggles and washes emerges an intensely
realistic magical landscape’.
Water expresses and displays light better than any subject I have
studied. I wanted to deal with this complexity of optical illusions. I have
learnt that there are number of painterly devices with which the illusion
of brilliance can be induced. That this incredible illusion can be rendered
so persuasively continues to mystify me.
Water nearly always appears somewhere in my landscapes. Gradually
seeping in until some works show no dry land at all.
As Noel Fuller said - ‘I have spent a lot of time gazing over water and
looking through reflections into the places of silence, rhythm, solitude
and untiy. I have felt the touch of these places in David’s paintings.’
To counteract the mostly private occupation of drawing and painting, one
of my other interests is in the physical, competitive and social world of
sailing and boating.
Other avenues of particular interest to me are in architecture, multi-hull
yacht design, travel, photography, music, reading, documentary film
making, film, theatre and friendships, spreading now all over the world.
I sailed aboard a 50ft steel yacht to Antarctica, roamed Mexico on a bus,
and Russia by rail. I have walked through Italian towns, visited most of
the British Isles, the Greek Isles, coastal Turkey, and Panama by ship.
Lived in Fijian villages, been a guest in German shipyards, seen some
of Finland and travelled in Japan as a student.
With my wife, Tanya we at different times established studios in the Gulf
Islands of British Columbia, Canada, on the Giudecca in Venice, Italy,
and in London, while always maintaining a New Zealand studio, first in
KeriKeri and now Devonport.
My visual home has thus become large areas of the world.
I am fortunate indeed.
Born: 1941, Chichester, England
Emigrated 1951: Auckland, New Zealand
School: Takapuna Grammar School
Tertiary education: Diploma Fine Arts (Hons) Elam School of Fine Art,
Auckland, New Zealand
Masters in Fine Art, East West Centre, Hawaii University, USA
Exhibitions and Collections: galleries and private homes in Australia,
Austria, Canada, Fiji, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New
Caledonia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, the United Kingdom,
the United States of America, and the USSR.
There are various publications and a whole collection of illustrated log
My Gallery Details
The works shown on this site in the attached projects below are for sale
directly from my studio.
The price agreed on the works include packaging, insuring, mailing or
delivering by courier to your nominated address.
The frames on the larger works are already hand finished by me but if
preferred, works may also be sent unframed. Sketches and small
watercolours are mostly unframed.
I often undertake commissions for paintings and murals.
I also like to teach two to five day art workshops where individual
success can be assured as there are no secrets.
My studio is in Devonport, Auckland, New Zealand.
P O Box 32-194
tel: +64(0).9.445. 9970
David’s mob: +64(0).21.0875.8710
DAVID BARKER, Artist Dip. Fine Arts (Hons), Master of Fine Arts