about Glen Barnes

For as long as I can remember, drawing has been an important part of my life. Some of my earliest memories are of pencil drawings on smooth pieces of wood that my father brought to me from the Arkansas lumber mill where he worked. These drawings were usually cartoons or sketches of animals, and horses were a favorite subject then as well as now. Many hours of my school age years were spent doing characters and scenes from Western films, but they were done for my own amusement and shared with very few others.
A career as an artist didn't seem to be a viable choice in that place and time and mechanical drafting offered an alternative that allowed the use of drawing skills. The Ohio Valley was a logical place for industrial employment, and as a result, I have spent most of my adult life in New Martinsville on the West Virginia side of the Ohio River. I had never abandoned my interest in art and always enjoyed it as a part-time activity. During the early 1970s I became associated with a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania art gallery and exhibited Civil War subjects in pastel and oils. In 1985 I began to paint full time and found ideal subject matter to explore. Although there is a wealth of written material, there are no photographs (photography being a Nineteenth Century invention) and very few paintings showing the period of our history when Indians and frontiersmen were in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains where I live.
After extensively researching the appropriate landscapes, I use friends from historical reenactment groups and my own wildlife photographs as reference for the focal points of an artwork. I have participated many times in a rendezvous or encampment, and by wearing some of my collection of Eighteenth Century style clothing, hope to gain insight into the feel of life in a more primitive time. Working in opaque watercolor or oils and striving for a lifelike quality and historical accuracy, I feel as if I am a reporter covering the dramatic events of the past.


Some members of the West Virginia Muzzleloader Association at an October encampment

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