Archive for the ‘Barry’s Artwork’ Category

Barry’s Birds for Wood Duck magazine – April and May


These pen and ink drawings were my submissions for the April and May issues of the Wood Duck, the magazine of the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club. The monthly feature is called Barry’s Birds.


Sharp-shinned Hawk-

Barry’s Birds for Wood Duck magazine – February and March


These pen and ink drawings were my submissions for the February and March issues of the Wood Duck, the magazine of the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club. The monthly feature is called Barry’s Birds.

Eastern Screech-Owl –

Red-bellied Woodpecker –

Barry’s Birds for January, 2017 – Snow Bunting


Pen and ink drawing by Barry Coombs

This pen and ink drawing of a Snow Bunting is my submission for the January issue of the Wood Duck, the magazine of the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club. The monthly feature is called Barry’s Birds.

Snow Buntings visit windswept and snowbound rural fields in our region every winter. This individual had a kernel of corn in it’s beak.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Seasons Greetings!


Christmascartoon2016 by Barry Coombs

Barry’s Birds in the Wood Duck magazine


My hobby is birding. As such, I’m a member in a few clubs and organizations. One of these is the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club. The club produces the Wood Duck magazine nine times a year, from September to May. I recently submitted a pen and ink drawing of an American Kestrel for the December issue. The editor liked it and suggested we make it a regular feature. Barry’s Birds has hatched and taken flight!

American Kestrel by Barry Coombs

American Kestrel
by Barry Coombs

Wood Duck, December 2016, Cover  Wood Duck, December 2016, P. 94

Faculty for Art 1 at DVSA

TREE SHADOW by Barry Coombs

by Barry Coombs

ORANGE HOUSE by Barry Coombs

by Barry Coombs

The Dundas Valley School of Art is currently hosting a faculty exhibition called Faculty for Art 1. The exhibition runs until October 30. I have two pieces in the exhibition, TREE SHADOW and ORANGE HOUSE. Both are acrylics on canvas and are 24 x 18″. Contact DVSA at 905-628-6357 or for information.




Zippity Zoo Daze!!!


Lioness study by Barry Coombs

I took on many jobs to pay the rent and earn tuition as an art student. Not all were ‘art-related’, such as my two summers making office furniture on an assembly line. As a picture framer, I felt some contact with the broader world of art. Skills learned at school got me a job as a commercial screen printer and it was much the same that qualified me as a T-shirt designer and very occasional free-lance illustrator.

I took one short-term job with a specific goal in mind. Way back then, teaching had worked it’s way into my mind as a possible future source of income. I would have to be comfortable painting and drawing in front of people in order to teach and demonstrate. So, I responded to an ad for Zippity Zoo Daze. It’s no less embarrassing now than it was decades ago.

Zippity Zoo Daze was a joint promotion shared by Simpsons, a large Canadian department store, and the Metropolitan Toronto Zoo. I spent several Saturday afternoons painting mostly African wildlife in one of the Simpsons Toronto branches. I worked from a book of photographs. Children and adults would crowd around to watch. The job ended with a final weekend of doing the same at the zoo. Still, working from photos.

Llama study by Barry Coombs  Elephant study by Barry Coombs

I used inexpensive pads of Strathmore watercolour paper. As a particular challenge, I did not do any preliminary drawing in pencil. I ‘drew’ with my brush and mapped in the shapes with light washes.

Camel study by Barry Coombs

I hadn’t had any specific training during my art school classes for this assignment. Demonstrations of anything were rare, particularly in watercolour. I worked from light to dark, observed values and shapes carefully and used the brush to mimic textures. Basically, I rendered.

Rhinoceroses study by Barry Coombs

Looking back, I can see things I like in these studies such as the use of ‘lost edge’. I can also see that I was timid with the darkest values in several of them. Overall, it was an excellent experience. I wasn’t paid much and didn’t benefit a lot from all of the amazing publicity I was told I’d receive but I forced myself to work in front of an audience. Years later, it paid off when I commenced my teaching career.

Ape studies by Barry Coombs


Art and Teaching in the Summer Heat!


We’re having a heat wave in Hamilton, Ontario. And a drought. I’m trying to stay cool as I prepare for my upcoming workshop on Grand Manan Island. Enroute to Grand Manan this year, I’ll be stopping in the beautiful Miramichi region of New Brunswick to lead a one-day ‘en plein air’ workshop. This event, combined with a two-day Plein Air Paintout, is sponsored by Miramichi Art Core and will be a part of the Irish Festival.

I dropped by ART ETC Gallery Shop at the Art Gallery of Burlington today and was pleased to find several of my paintings displayed throughout the space. Also, I was shown some promotional material which features my work. I’ve exhibited at many galleries over the years and the staff at ART ETC are second to none when it comes to supporting their artists. Thanks, ART ETC!

All work is available for purchase or rental. Rental is a great idea as it gives a prospective art patron a chance to live with a painting for a while before making a decision. Drop by when you’re in the neighbourhood.



I received a nice surprise in the mail the other day. It’s a certificate from the Dundas Valley School of Art. The school hosted a function for the faculty a few weeks ago but I was unable to attend. Otherwise, I would have been given this thoughtful acknowledgement at that time. I’ve taught at several institutions over many years and this is the first time anything like this has come my way. Thanks, DVSA.


ArtWorks 2016 – OCADU Alumni Juried Exhibition

HARVEST by Barry Coombs

by Barry Coombs

ArtWorks 2016 is a bi-annual OCADU (Ontario College of Art and Design University) alumni juried exhibition. The exhibition is hosted by the Dignam Gallery of the Women’s Art Association of Canada. The twenty nine artists selected represent six decades of graduates and a beautiful catalogue has been produced to record the event.

The three jurors selected a strong and varied group of work and I’m pleased that HARVEST, my acrylic on canvas (18 x 24″), was accepted. I graduated from Fine Arts in 1981.

See dates, times and address for ArtWorks 2016 below.


SPRUCE LANE FARM, BRONTE – new acrylic on canvas

Spruce Lane Farm, Bronte by Barry Coombs acrylic on canvas 24 x 30"

acrylic on canvas
24 x 30″

I’ve added SPRUCE LANE FARM, BRONTE to the Acrylics gallery on my website. This acrylic on canvas is based on a farm located at Bronte Creek Provincial Park in Ontario. The farmhouse dates to 1899. Have a look at my other acrylics on canvas by clicking here.