John Barnard studied at Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles, served in World War II in the Pacific and then chose to go to college at the University of Georgia because of its
fine art department. There he was quickly invited to attend the Graduate Art Classes of Lamar Dodd who became a lasting influence on Barnard.
Upon graduation, John moved to Mexico and later to Venezuela where in addition to painting he worked in the electrical industry. Though he rose to top management, he always felt he worked only to support his painting and family. After 25 years overseas, John's wife persuaded him to quit and in 1973 they moved to Atascadero, California.
Here in the beauty of California’s Central Coast, Barnard became a prolific painter. Though his subject matter was chiefly local scenery, he gave his imagination free reign to conjure up cityscapes and market scenes pulled from other times and places in his life. During John's last three years of life, he only left the assisted living facility to go to the doctors' thus relied on prior experiences and memories to inspire his painting subject matter. In years past he had painted in acrylic, casein and water soluble oils.
Barnard’s work is characterized by its energy and a boundless variety in style and approach. He found in his world limitless inspiration to express himself differently every day, and felt his work was evolving toward greater freedom of line and stronger color.
Barnard’s work was juried into many shows, is held in numerous institutional and private collections and appears in several books on the art of watercolor.
Though John was quite ill the fall of 2015, he began painting once again the spring of 2016. Painting is his passion and gives him a purpose in life. “My Dad has to paint to live like the rest of us have to breathe to live,” says his daughter, Babs Barnard Proctor.
At the end of July 2018, two months shy of turning 95, John passed away. He painted up until the very end of his life as did his mentors Henry Fukahara and Milford Zornes. He always admired that Henry and Milford painted in spite of adversities and wanted to do the same- and he did. "His art surrounds me in my home but I continue to miss him terribly." Babs Barnard Proctor
John would be 100 Sept 29, 2023. Wish he could be here to celebrate.
A sampling of the Museums, national and international exhibitions John has participated in: