Gary Barnett

Drawing at an early age piqued Gary’s interest in art. During the 1970’s he studied fine art and graphic design at the college and university level, then began a career in abstract painting. During the following years, he developed a unique style of painting and began showing his work in many art galleries in the Toronto, Kitchener and the surrounding area with great success.

After working for 25 years as a graphic designer and website developer he returned to his career of painting to pick up where he left off. In essence, his goal is to create a natural event on the canvas, in a completely organic way; much the same way nature creates the intricate and complex patterns throughout the universe.

Gary was a member of the Art District Gallery Co-operative in Kitchener from 2016 to 2017 and has recently joined the Greater Napanee Area Arts Association, after relocating to Napanee this summer. He continues to paint and show his work in local galleries and is active in the art community.

Painting Technique

My technique for painting has evolved over a period of 25 years, by experimenting with using natural forces to control the paint rather than traditional tools, such as a brush or a palette knife. The goal is to re-create the intricate and complex patterns of nature, in a purely natural way. In effect, to create a natural event on the canvas, by using the same forces that have created all life in the universe.

As I apply paint and chemicals to the canvas I treat it as a living organism. Like all life forms, it evolves, grows and changes into something unique, with a complex organic structure. Applying forced air, vibration, gravity, water, and other chemicals to the paint, I work in harmony with the paint. Nurturing it and guiding it, but at the same time letting it evolve into its own form. Much the same way a single cell evolves into a plant or animal.

I paint on un-stretched canvas (or panel board) on a sheet of glass approximately 4 feet x 8 feet. After selecting and mixing the paint colours, I pour water over the canvas and then begin adding paint. I use a compressor or hair dryer to control and move the paint around. At times using gravity to control the process by sloping the table. I mix various types of paints and chemicals together to in essence create a chemical interaction between them.

The goal is to end up with something that is naturally beautiful, by the process of its own creation, reflecting the complex and intricate life we all share. I use the basic laws of aesthetics and principles of design, to guide me through the process, but the end result is always somewhat unpredictable, making each painting totally unique and individual, very much like all forms of life.