Archive for the ‘Exhibitions’ Category

Recent Paintings at Propeller Gallery – It’s a Wrap!


My exhibition of recent paintings at Propeller Gallery in Toronto ended yesterday. Thanks go to Nathan and everyone else at Propeller who made things easy. An artist feels support in many ways. Not everyone, of course, is able to make a purchase. Artists understand that but really appreciate a good turnout. My thanks go to all of you who attended the opening reception or visited the show at another time. It was Canada Day weekend and I know it took a special effort from many of you.

I received compliments from many of you and every word is valued. I was particularly pleased to receive the very positive feedback from my creative peers. Those words are priceless.

I’ve added a few installation shots to this post. If you’d like to read my artist statement and view all of the work from the exhibition, click here or on the Propeller page under the Pages menu in the sidebar on the right.


RECENT PAINTINGS by Barry Coombs at Propeller Gallery


You are cordially invited to a solo exhibition of recent paintings by BARRY COOMBS in the North Gallery of PROPELLER GALLERY. The exhibition will run from June 28 – July 2, 2017.

The Opening Reception will take place on Thursday, June 29 from 6:30 – 9pm.

The exhibition will be open from Wednesday to Saturday from 12 – 6pm and on Sunday from 12 – 5pm.

30 Abell Street (near Queen West and Gladstone) in Toronto, Ontario M6J 0A9
416-504-7142 /

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.




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.


Grand Manan Art Gallery – Talk and Exhibition



I’ve enjoyed a rewarding association with the Grand Manan Art Gallery for several years. One of my watercolours, Ross Island Light, is in the Permanent Collection and I’ve contributed work to the last two annual Square Foot shows. This summer, I wanted to celebrate my 25th anniversary of painting and teaching on the island and offered to do an illustrated talk at the gallery. The GMAG had never hosted an artist talk before but the Board accepted and I prepared a one hour PowerPoint presentation which I gave to an audience of over fifty people last Thursday evening.

One of the works I showed during my talk was the FUNDY GEM, a small watercolour that I painted outdoors on the wharf in North Head in 1992.

FUNDY GEM 1992 Watercolour on paper by Barry Coombs

Watercolour on paper
by Barry Coombs

Over the past winter, I decided to submit a new work to the annual Island Art Show, which runs from August 8 – 27. As I was preparing my talk, I took a fresh look at the FUNDY GEM watercolour of 1992 and I thought that the cropped composition and the attention to the mechanical elements of the fishing boats reflected my longtime passion for Cubism. I decided to re-visit the earlier watercolour and painted a new acrylic on canvas. If you’re on Grand Manan Island, drop by to see the new incarnation of the FUNDY GEM and all the other wonderful work by a wide range of artists. Opening night is this Saturday, August 8, at 7pm.

FUNDY GEM 2015 Acrylic on canvas  by Barry Coombs

Acrylic on canvas
by Barry Coombs

The gallery is located at 21 Cedar Street and is wheelchair-accessible. It can be contacted at and (506) 662-3662.

GMAG Hours
11am – 6pm – Daily
1pm – 5pm – Sunday

Admission – Cash Only
Adults – $2
Children under 12 are free

Square Foot Exhibition at Grand Manan Art Gallery

'How Not To Draw A Dory' by Barry Coombs

‘How Not To Draw A Dory’ by Barry Coombs

The second annual Square Foot Exhibition opened last weekend at the Grand Manan Art Gallery on beautiful Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick. The exhibition will continue until July 17, 2015.

I submitted a new acrylic on canvas entitled How Not To Draw A Dory. The exhibition features a wide range of work from islanders, summer visitors and artists ‘from away’.

The gallery is located at 21 Cedar Street and is wheelchair-accessible. It can be contacted at and (506) 662-3662.

GMAG Hours
11am – 6pm – Daily
1pm – 5pm – Sunday

Admission – Cash Only
Adults – $2
Children under 12 are free


AT THE TABLE exhibition at the DVSA Gallery

FORMAGGIO  by Barry Coombs

by Barry Coombs

FORMAGGIO (24 x 36″) is my latest acrylic on canvas. It’s currently on view in a curated exhibition entitled AT THE TABLE. The exhibition juxtaposes still life paintings and handmade functional vessels featuring local potters and painters from the Dundas Valley School of Art and the Carnegie Gallery plus rarely-exhibited historic works from private collections.

Meet the artists on Thursday, June 11 from 7 – 9pm! The exhibition continues until June 12, 2015.

Dundas Valley School of Art is located at 21 Ogilvie Street in Dundas, Ontario. 905-628-1087

Gallery Hours:
Mon to Thurs – 9am – 9pm
Fri and Sat – 9am – 4pm
Sunday – Closed

New Work at Art Etc, Art Gallery of Burlington

YELLOW PEARS by Barry Coombs

by Barry Coombs

Last week, I was at the Art Etc Gallery Shop in the Art Gallery of Burlington for their annual intake of new work. As usual, Rhonda Bullock and her team were very professional and I really appreciate their genuine enthusiasm about my recent acrylics, in particular. Rhonda also took the time to outline the various upcoming events that will promote the Art Etc artists.

The committee selected five acrylics and three watercolours and have since asked for two more of my larger acrylics.  Have a look at my updated page on their website.

The Art Etc Gallery Shop sells and rents original artwork. Drop in when you’re in the neighbourhood or make a special trip! It’s worth it.

The Art Etc Gallery Shop is in the Art Gallery of Burlington, located at 1333 Lakeshore Road in Burlington, Ontario. They can be contacted at 905-632-7796, Ext. 301.

Anatomy of an Acrylic Painting

ELGIN by Barry Coombs


Many people, including old friends and long-time students, were surprised to see large acrylic paintings on the walls of Earls Court Gallery for #Hamilton2Views, my current exhibition with Aleda O’Connor. There is good reason for their surprise; I’ve never exhibited a series of acrylics on canvas in a commercial gallery.

The ‘look’ of the paintings, however, should not be such a shock to anyone who has followed my work over the years. My interest in Cubism and modernist movements goes back to my teens. It has found it’s way into my watercolours since the late 1980s. More recently, my gouaches have become simpler and are based on flat shapes of colour. LOW TIDE is a watercolour and TRINITY HARBOUR EAST is a gouache.

LOW TIDE Private Collection

Private Collection



My Artist Statement describes many of my influences and can be found on the #Hamilton2Views page in the sidebar of this blog. With this post, let me tell you a little bit about ELGIN, one of seven acrylics on exhibit.

My general process is much the same in any medium. I start with a combination of on-site sketches, photographic reference and compositional studies. ELGIN, shown above, is an acrylic on canvas and is 36 x 48″ in dimension. I first noticed the building while running errands around Hamilton, Ontario and was quite captivated by the visual possibilities.

Photo 1 for ELGIN

Initially, I wanted to paint the building from different points of view. I tried a horizontal composition in my sketchbook as a starting point. This view is the side of the building.

Sketch 1 for ELGIN by Barry Coombs

I wasn’t satisfied with this composition. It didn’t feel focused enough and seemed to dilute the impact of the image. I took another look at my photo reference and considered a vertical format.

Photo 2 for ELGIN

I liked this balance of shapes and colours very much and explored it further in my sketchbook. This sketch got me quite close to the final composition. Simplification and editing are key elements in my work. It’s difficult to explain how I interpret the image in order to give it a Cubist feel. It’s mostly intuitive and I strive for a quality that will communicate my excitement with the planes, angles and colours of the building. With ELGIN, I incorporated a Cubist device and added stenciled letters. In terms of colour, I followed the red/green complementary relationship in my actual subject. Other colours were carefully selected and I did a lot of colour testing on separate sheets of paper.

Sketch 2 for ELGIN by Barry Coombs

Acrylic paint and it’s application aren’t new to me but I had to arrange my tools and studio to accommodate this series. I painted at an easel. It was challenging to get back from the work on a regular basis so, at the end of a painting day, I often took a photo of the work in progress. During the evening, I’d review it and sometimes mark it up with notes and ideas.

On average, I spent about five days on a large canvas. An indispensable tool was the Masterson Sta-Wet Premier Palette. It kept my paint fresh and workable for the duration of the creative process. The sharp geometric treatment demanded careful planning and brush-handling. Several viewers thought that I’d used masking tape to prepare the clean edges of the geometric shapes in the paintings. Not so! Everything was done free-hand.

Early stage of ELGIN by Barry Coombs

Obviously, much more goes into a painting on personal, technical and conceptual levels. I hope I’ve been able to anatomize ELGIN to give some idea of my basic process. #Hamilton2Views continues at Earls Court Gallery in Hamilton, Ontario until November 15.