Joel Barr

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Sometimes we see what no one looks for–images that have waited for us to find them. If we are lucky, these images will wait while we try to capture them with paint on canvas. They will probably change as we reach for them. I believe that if we clearly and honestly record what we see, we will be surprised, enriched, and sometimes stunned by what we’ve found.

There is almost always a narrative in my paintings as I believe that a story may be introduced in a scene. The viewer must fill in the before and after with unique eyes and experience, but enough can be presented to set a challenging stage if the work is successful. 

Along with being a visual story teller, I’ve been called a colorist, surrealist, patternist, and sometimes a texturist. I’m an Atlanta artist–an oil painter for over twenty-five years–with a studio in Brookhaven. I love working with oils because each painting session results in a new revelation of what they might do. There is a mystical quality to each painting and each day for me.

Finally, and always, there is a spiritual quest in my paintings. Driving that are the essential questions of why we are here, what we can or should or might do here, how we got here, and where we might be going. Just as I believe that there is a spirit in all things, I try to instill a bit of that spirit into each brushstroke. 
http://painterskeys.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/HOPE-wpcf_300x229.jpg
HOPE
Oil on Canvas
48" x 60"
http://painterskeys.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Julie-Huskey-final-final-wpcf_300x278.jpg
A SPECIAL CORNER IN NEW YORK
Oil on Canvas
50" x 54"
http://painterskeys.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/LOVE-wpcf_295x300.jpg
All You Need
Oil on Canvas
36" x 36"
http://painterskeys.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/old-car-final-wpcf_300x240.jpg
Re-tired
Oil on Canvas
48" x 60"

After formal education at Duke University and UNC Chapel Hill in Engish, Economics, and Urban Planning, I followed a number of work paths including teaching English, planning social services for non-profits and governments, and running a mid-size business.  Throughout, I was writing poetry and novels and reading about art.  For four years, I was a full-time writer, working primarily with fiction.  I’ve had articles and reviews published in newspapers and magazines, and poetry published in literary journals.  My novel, CHAPTERS AND VERSE, was published by Gibbs Smith Publishers.

During those writing years, I spent more and more time in various studios with a number of artists until, 25 years ago, I began to paint with initial, invaluable direction from Florida artist and curator, Barbara Tiffany.  I knew at once that painting was my creative home.  Aside from that initial mentoring and a good number of workshops over the years, I’m a self-taught artist working in oils and mixed media.  The work still brings the same level of excitement and anticipation as it did the first day I started in 1993.  I work most days in my Brookhaven, Georgia studio so I would describe myself as a full-time studio artist.  I also teach oil painting in group and individual settings.

My paintings and sculpture are in public collections, private homes and offices, and in several countries.  Mid-way in my painting career, I was given a nine-year retrospective at a Gainesville, Florida gallery.  I did outdoor shows for several years and, at present, I have gallery representation in Georgia and Florida.  I recently was honored with a solo exhibition in the Thomas Gallery at Gainesville’s (Georgia) Quinlan Art Center.

My interest of late is turning toward large pieces, installations and series work.

http://painterskeys.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/quilt-of-water-final-wpcf_300x224.jpg
Quilt of Water
Oil on Canvas
36" x 48"
http://painterskeys.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/pond-wpcf_300x296.jpg
Floating
Oil on canvas
36" x 36"
http://painterskeys.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Vero-final-painting-wpcf_300x185.jpg
View Out The Back
Oil on Canvas
19.5" x 31.5"
http://painterskeys.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/YES-wpcf_300x224.jpg
YES
Oil on canvas
36" x 48"
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