Al Barker was born in New Jersey and was raised within the New York City Metropolitan area, but he learned to appreciate the outdoors by spending a great deal of time hunting and fishing. These activities ,no doubt influenced his decision to pursue academic studies in Environmental Science where he earned a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Forestry and later received a National Fellowship for Doctorate work. After these academic studies, Al became a Forestry-Educator and worked private industry and eventually taught his trade on post-secondary level.
Without formal art training, Al began drawing and painting wildlife scenes to assist his teaching curricula and has been greatly influenced by the works of Milton Weiler and Don Stone, N.A. Presently as a full-time artist, he specializes in smaller sized paintings completing works in both oil and watercolor as well as rendering many small editions of etchings.
Al Barker is one of a few artists who have exhibited continuously at the Easton Waterfowl Festival, Eason, MD since its inception over thirty years ago. He has won over fifty major awards in premier art competitions including The Museum Purchase Award at the Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport Museum’s International Marine Art Exhibition in 2011; Grand National American Artists Professional League, NY; Greenwich Workshop Galleries, CT and CA. Settlers West, Arizona; Gallery 1, Ohio and the Salmagundi Club, NY. Mr. Barker’s work can be seen in almost every National Miniature Exhibition in the continental United States.
“The small towns and villages and the wildlife which border and utilize the tidal marshes/estuaries have always interested me. It is the influence of the seasons, as well as the daily tidal changes that constantly create interesting color patterns. The changing color is, I think, the most important aspect which influences me. After completing a painting I want people to say to themselves, ‘I have been there and seen that’.”