Barry Coombs

Toronto, Canada

Barry Coombs – visual artist 

Barry Coomb’s artwork is produced in a range of media, but is notable for its use of brilliant colour and strong, angular planes.

Barry Coombs – Learn Traditionally; Paint Creatively!

I’ve exhibited my paintings, drawings and sculpture in Canada since 1982. Internationally, my work has been exhibited in Taiwan, China and South Korea. I represented Canada at the G20 World Artist Festival in Seoul, South Korea in November of 2010.

At what age did you know you wanted to be an artist?

I started drawing at the age of two. My mother was supportive and encouraged me to spend as much time as I wanted on drawing and early attempts at painting.

What is the earliest artwork you did that you can remember?

I made a ‘mixed media’ piece in the first grade. The subject was a horse. This work was selected for an exhibition at the Teacher’s College and, unfortunately, I never saw it again.

Which classical or contemporary artists have inspired you?

My two favourite periods of art are the early Renaissance and Modernism. The great early Renaissance artists such as Giotto and Piero della Francesca created beautiful and lasting work without a full grasp of perspective or anatomy. The Modernists, particularly the Cubists, rejected ideas like perspective and anatomy about five hundred years later. Their stunning works gave us a new way of seeing in the modern world. Picasso, Braque, Gris and Stuart Davis and Jack Bush are all inspirations.

How would you describe your artistic style?

Neo-modernist. I employ the colour and planar treatment of many Cubist and Modernist artists.

When did you first sell an artwork? How did you feel?

I exhibited my ‘en plein air’ sketches and watercolours from a year of study in Florence, Italy. The exhibition was at my parent’s home and was fairly successful. I was pleased that people would pay for my creative offerings but my mother was ecstatic.

What's your workstyle? Do you work on one piece at a time or work simultaneously on multiple pieces?

I tend to work in series. An acrylic painting can take up to five days of work but I always like to have something else on the go. Perhaps, a work on paper or studies for a new painting or project.

How do you get the inspiration for a new piece?

The visual world around me never fails to inspire.

Tell us a bit about your personal life ...

I’ve survived as an artist and part-time adult painting and drawing instructor for over thirty years. My hobby is birding and always gives me a strong connection to nature.

“Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do” – Edgar Degas.


A few pieces from Barry’s gallery

Yellow Pears

Spruce Lane Farm, Bronte

More about Barry Coombs

Barry Coomb's Shows & Exhibitions

2014 K-Art Project Exhibition, Seoul, South Korea, September 21 – 30, Catalogue

2012 5th Seoul Art Fair, Invitation: Seoul Convention Centre, South Korea, April 27 – May 1, Catalogue

2011 International Drawing Exhibition, Invitation: Seoul, South Korea, March, Catalogue

2010 G20 World Artist Festival, Invitation: Seoul, South Korea, November 8 – 14, Catalogue

2010 International Drawing Exhibition, Invitation: Seoul Art Centre, South Korea, March 11 – 20, Catalogue

2008 World Artist Festival, Invitation: Seoul, South Korea, October 7 – 14, Catalogue

2007 World Artist Festival, Invitation: Seoul, South Korea, Nov. 23 – Dec. 2, Catalogue

2006 World Artist Festival, Invitation: Seoul, South Korea, Sept. 6 – 12, Catalogue

1995 Koo Kyung International Exhibition of Drawing, Invitation: Seoul, South Korea, April 11- 26, Catalogue

1995 Third International Watercolour Exhibition, Invitation: Pingtung, Taiwan, May 27 -July 31, Catalogue

1993 International Watercolour Exhibition, Invitation: Seoul, South Korea, Dec. ’92, People’s Republic of China, Jan. ’93, Catalogue

1992 2nd International Watercolour Exhibition, Invitation: Kaohsiung, Taiwan, May 27 – June 2, Catalogue

1991 Seoul Watercolours International, Invitation: Seoul, South Korea, July 10 -22

1991 8th Annual Shin Jahk Jeon Association, Invitation: Seoul, South Korea, April 13 -May 9, Catalogue


2016 Dignam Gallery, Women’s Art Association of Canada, ArtWorks 2016, OCADU Alumni Association Juried Exhibition, April 21-23, Catalogue

2015 Grand Manan Art Gallery, Island Art Show, August 8 – 27, Third Prize (shared) People’s Choice Award

2015 DVSA Gallery, Dundas, “At The Table”, Group Exhibition, May 11 – June 12

2014 Earls Court Gallery, Hamilton, #Hamilton2Views, Oct 9 – Nov 15

2014 Etobicoke Civic Centre Art Gallery, Six Degrees of Freedom, Oct 5 – 30

2014 Carnegie Gallery, Dundas, “On the Rock”, March 7 – 30

2013 DVSA Gallery, Dundas, Solo Exhibition, September 16 – October 11

2013 yumart gallery, Toronto, Summer Salon Show, August 10 – 30

2012 Propeller Centre for the Visual Arts, Salon VI, January 4 – 29

2011 Korean and Canadian Group Exhibition, Invitation: Dosan Gallery, September 19 – 23, Catalogue

2011 Six Degrees of Freedom: Etobicoke Civic Centre Gallery, Sept. 12 – 30, Juror’s Choice

2011 Korean and Canadian Group Exhibition, Invitation: Dosan Gallery, June 14 – 20, Catalogue

2011 John B. Aird Gallery, Toronto, ‘Drawing 2011″, 12th Annual Juried Drawing Exhibition, Feb. 8 – Mar 4

2011 Propeller Centre for the Visual Arts, Salon V, January 12 – 30

2010 Earls Court Gallery, Hamilton, “Strata Sight”, Aug. 26 – Sept. 25