Adam Barsby

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The Creative Process...

I don’t start to paint until I can visualise an image in my mind’s eye and then I set about reinventing it on paper. I tend to see things that I think might work within the context of my narrative style, and then work on the idea with a series of rough sketches to refine my aims. Once I am ready to go, I like to mark out the size I want -I find if I haven’t set myself a definite boundary the composition has a tendency to grow. At present my preferred medium is oil paint, for its terrific flexibility and the vibrancy of its colours. I feel that by using oils I can achieve the precise effect I am looking for; strong and distinctive colours with an intriguingly soft focus. I do anticipate taking some time out to travel soon, as I feel the need to broaden my artistic horizons, and when I do this, I intend to explore and experiment with a variety of media, to see what else I am able to achieve.




Born in Leicester in 1969 Adam showed an early artistic talent which would eventually lead him to graduate from Kent Institute of Art and Design in Maidstone with a First Class Honours Degree. Following his graduation in 1992 Adam worked on several freelance projects for art galleries and magazines whilst developing his distinctive style. In 1996 he decided to commit himself to painting on a full time basis. His confidence was soon rewarded by invitations to exhibit at many prestigious galleries throughout the UK and the highly successful launch of his range of Limited Editions and Original Silkscreen Prints.

Adam draws his inspiration from the romantic element of the world around us, and describes his work as developing on a natural slant from story-telling. His unique view of life, characterised by stylised images, rich colours and thought provoking narratives, continue to take the art world by storm.

Adam's unique talent has gained him the prestigious John Solomon Trophy for Best Selling Artist of 1998, Best Up and Coming Artist for 1999 and three nominations for Best-Selling Published Artist 2000, 2001 and 2002 from the Fine Art Trade Guild. Demand for Adam's Original Paintings continues to grow and although his Limited Editions and sculptures sell out on publication, but he is still seeking new creative outlets for his ideas.


The Creative Day...

I do try and spend the majority of my working days in the studio. Although I begin quite early in the morning and paint for most of the day, I do take regular short breaks in order to stay fresh, as things can look very different when you go back to them, and I think gaining a perspective through time is an important part of the creative process. I’ll stop for lunch and then return to the studio in the afternoon, but I never paint beyond 6pm. Because I paint every day, I think it’s important not to push on regardless, as the quality of the work inevitably suffers. Since turning professional I had to learn this lesson the hard way as I am naturally prolific and slowing down was a difficult thing to do - but quality not quantity is what counts.

The Creative Impulse...

When I first discovered I had the ability to draw, and experienced the buzz of creative satisfaction, I knew that this was something I wanted to pursue as a career. I will never forget the pride and joy on my mother’s face at seeing me do something that she thought was really special - she remains the most inspirational figure in my life, and since her death I feel my creative drive owes more and more to her memory.

In terms of artistic influences, I owe a great debt to the St Ives School of painters. I love the idea that all these artists were drawn together into such an inspirational environment and learnt from one another, developing a haven of artistic creativity. The sea, boats and cottages, and the history, tradition and mythology of Cornwall itself has provided me with a wealth of ideas. I also greatly admire the work of many of the all time greats, for instance, Matisse for his exceptional understanding of colour, Bonnard for his unequalled ability to manipulate light and shadow, Picasso and Braque for their boldness and innovation - to look at their work is to look at genius, and who could fail to be inspired by that!