Robert Barber

15th Annual ARC Salon (2020-2021)

Robert Barber

United States

Robert J. Barber


Painting has been a lifelong passion for Robert J. Barber, and he paints as faithfully to life as he possibly can. He is fascinated with why things appear the way they do, and this inspires him to paint realistically. At the same time, our world is an active and continually changing place, and Robert seeks to reflect these sensations by also painting with energy and movement. He is an avid plein air painter, and thoroughly enjoys the outdoors and listening to the stories that subjects tell about themselves directly. Sometimes these stories are apparent from the beginning, but often they take more time, and so Robert regularly works on paintings at the same spot over multiple days, weeks, months, or even seasons. He brings this same love of the colors of light into his studio and figurative work.


Robert feels a tremendous affinity with painters of the past. The great masters Diego Velázquez, John Singer Sargent, Joaquín Sorolla, and others inspire him continually. He feels strongly about carrying on the best of these traditions and honoring this valuable legacy.


In 1981 Robert earned a bachelor’s degree in Studio Art from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and in 1984 he earned a second bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts at the Art Center College of Design. During school and after, Robert studied with nationally recognized painters Dan McCaw, Craig Nelson, and Ken Auster. Robert freelanced as an illustrator for twenty years, and several of his paintings are on display in Natural History Museums.


Robert is a Signature Member of the Mid Atlantic Plein Air Painters Association, and he has won a number of awards, including the Grand Prize, Second Place, and Third Place in Plein Air Easton, four times Best in Show, and once the People’s Choice at MAPAPA’s “Paint Annapolis” exhibitions. He has been juried into the “Arts for the Parks” Top 100 and Mini 100 exhibitions sponsored by the National Parks Academy for the Arts, and he has been juried into the Oil Painters of America national exhibition. Robert and his wife Susan and their daughter Sofia reside in Pennsylvania.

* This statement has been provided directly by the artist in association to their 15th International ARC Salon entries. This content has not been edited for typos or grammatical errors and has not been vetted for accuracy.