Barry Bowerman - Biography


Inspiration Influences & Education

I have always had an interest in art that began in Public School.  I attended Saturday morning classes close to the Royal Ontario Museum and went with the class to the Museum to sketch on location at the exhibits using graphite pencil and charcoal.  During Public School, I continued with sketching and included coloured pencil drawings in my projects, history and science notebooks.  I took art throughout High School (up to and including Grade XII) but had to concentrate on my necessary credits in Grade XIII for the University course that I was planning to take.  With the demands of university course work and full time work, I didn’t engage in any art endeavours for approximately 18 years. 

Re-igniting my passion for artBarry Bowerman at the easel

My wife gave me a set of acrylic paints for Christmas and I decided that I wanted to create a painting for her parents’ 50th Wedding Anniversary.  It re-ignited my passion for art and 2 years later, I was incredibly fortunate to have been able to attend a course given by Robert Bateman.  I remember the information that he presented just like it was yesterday; it has had a significant impact on the way that I use the paints to achieve the desired effects.  The two summer courses with Glen Loates augmented my level of knowledge in specific areas that have added further dimension to my work. 

Mastery of colour and light

My thirst for knowledge and new skills continues; since then, I have returned to the instruction of Dwayne Harty, a Canadian Artist Barry studying with Dwayne Hartyrenowned for his dioramas and his mastery of colour and light in his paintings.  The application of the classic theories has opened a whole world of appreciation of what you see as an artist; the craft is converting what you see on to the canvas (or board).  The importance of the impact of the surrounding environment on wildlife subjects or just the effect of light on the components of the natural setting is now paramount in my execution and planning of the composition.  I now rely less heavily on photographs, although they still comprise a major source of reference for subject attitude and detail.  The plein-air experience is sought wherever possible.  In order to enjoy the freedom to work with the paint under a wide range of weather conditions (i.e. bright sun, heat, wind etc) I have undertaken the use of oils.  It has presented a host of new challenges but has allowed me to grow with the medium and interpret what I am seeing more effectively at the moment.

Inspired by the Canadian Landscape

As a resident of Lively (west of  Sudbury) since 1973, the rugged and diverse nature of the Cambrian Shield provides endless Barry Bowerman navigates to paintng sites by Canoeinspiration for his work.  My favourite areas for plein-air painting and references are Algonquin and Killarney Parks and Moose Lake (north of Parry Sound).  Not only are there ample opportunities to encounter wildlife in its natural habitat but the natural settings are breathtaking during all seasons of the year. 


Other than my High School training, I am basically self-taught. For the high realism wildlife genre of art I have benefited immensely from instruction during courses with Robert Bateman, Glen Loates and Dwayne Harty.  Dwayne has especially opened a new world of colour and light.  This knowledge and application has introduced a new dimension to my work.  I have also learned through direct feedback received from prominent local artists Charles Rapsky, Ivan Wheale and Brian Atyeo. 


1987        -  “Wildlife Painting”   with Robert Bateman
1990        -  “Advanced Wildlife Painting”   with Glen Loates
1991        -  “Advanced Wildlife Painting”   with Glen Loates
2002-present -  “Advanced Wildlife Painting”  with Dwayne Harty (Algonquin Academy of Wilderness and Wildlife Art)


Walden Association of Fine Arts
Northern Ontario Arts Association
Signature Member of the Artist for Conservation