Robert J. Barber

American Oil Painter
"To the River"


18" x 14"



Hydrangea Heap


14 x 18



February Sun


9 x 12


"Afternon Begonia"
Oil 7" x 5"

Mallows and Sun


7 x 5


"Morning Begonia"
Oil 7" x 5"

"Marsh Pines in the Afternoon"
Oil 6" x 8"

"Green and White"
Oil 12" x 16"

"Barn Around the Bend"
Oil 6" x 8"

Robert J. Barber Biography

For Robert J. Barber, being a representational painter has been a lifelong pursuit and passion. He is fascinated with color and awed by the continuous state of change in our world. As a response, Robert enjoys trying to capture in his paintings selected poignant moments from nature and life.

 Aesthetically, he seeks to balance painting the scene realistically with capturing the life of the moment that drew him to paint it. A collector of Robert’s work once said, “It is different in each piece, but I get the sense in all of his paintings that ‘something is happening.’” It is that “something happening”—whether it is vivid and dramatic or quiet and subdued—that drives Robert to focus on a particular place and immerse himself in the painting of it. The painting emerges as he balances a patient and careful study of the subject with the excitement of the moving color.

 Robert feels a tremendous affinity with painters of the nineteenth century, in particular Joaquín Sorolla and John Singer Sargent. Another favorite is the great seventeenth century painter Diego Velázquez. Robert feels strongly about carrying on the best traditions of these earlier masters, integrating their inspiration along with his own life experiences into his paintings.

 Many contemporary painters have also affected and inspired Robert, and he has studied with nationally recognized painters Ken Auster, Craig Nelson, and Dan McCaw. In 1981, Robert earned a bachelor’s degree in Studio Art from the University of California at Santa Barbara.  In 1984, he completed a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.

 Born in Chicago in 1959, Robert grew up in California.  He and his wife Susan moved to Maryland in 1997 and they now reside in Pennsylvania.  Robert freelanced as an illustrator for twenty years, completing paintings for Natural History Museums, book publishers, and movie studios. He credits those years with a good deal of his development and maturity, but he always planned for the day he would have the freedom to paint his own vision. 

A member of Oil Painters of America and the Mid Atlantic Plein Air Painters Association, Robert has won a number of awards, including the Best in Show and People’s Choice at MAPAPA’s “Paint Annapolis” exhibitions.  Robert 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. He is included in the historic book by Gary Pendleton “100 Plein Air Painters of the Mid-Atlantic” published in 2014.

McBride Gallery is pleased to represent the work of this talented artist.

215 Main Street Annapolis MD 21401 • 410-267-7077

Gallery Hours: Monday - Saturday 10:00 - 5:30, Sunday 12:00 - 5:30, Thursday til 9:00pm