Apr 05, 2016 - Apr 17, 2016
Appearing at the Pearl Ellis Gallery in Comox, April 5th to 17th is Nanaimo artist Leonard Barrett. His show, “The Forgotten Ones”, comprises paintings of people who have been left behind for one reason or another. Barrett will also be including some carved paddles and masks in this show.
Barrett began drawing and painting at an early age in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan where he was born in 1938. He and his wife lived for a while with First Nations people in both Frobisher Bay and Churchill, Manitoba. “I love the First Nations People and am very fond of painting them,” he explains.
Barrett works in chalk pastel, oil pastel and oils. He says he is pretty much self-taught but did some training in commercial art although he did not enjoy that type of art work so moved on to the fine arts.
The beginning of Barrett’s art career had many ups and downs. “After all these years I’m still learning and still have pieces that get covered over to make a new one,” he admits. He claims that at times he hasn’t a clue as to where his painting is taking him. In the end what he sees is what he paints.
“I like to tell people that I am not a camera. Once people understand that they can appreciate what I am trying to do. Sometimes I drive those with traditional training, and letters behind their name, “mad” because I don’t stick to tradition. Perhaps Picasso and Van Gough, great teachers, might agree with me,” he says.
Barrett has had many individual shows as well as shows with other artists and has sold work to buyers in Europe and the United Kingdom as well as across Canada.
“I am a shy person I stand outside a crowd. If people like my work I will talk to them about how I came to paint it. You won’t find me blowing my own horn. I would rather people look and enjoy my work or not. I paint for me”.
These days Barrett’s main interest is doing portraits for people. “I believe this will be my last public show. Please come out and enjoy”.