Collection: Cliff Barnes

Painting America has been my passion for almost 40 years! In my early years, I loved to draw the faces of my friends and paint California landscapes. After graduation from Burbank High School, I received a Disney Scholarship to attend Art Center in Los Angeles where I not only learned specific artistic methods and techniques, but the importance of meeting deadlines. While serving in the U.S. Army I was the editor of the Stuttgart Military newspaper at the Army Base in Germany. It was exciting to travel and photograph different European countries and when I returned later to travel in Europe in a VW Camper with my wife, I was able to paint many scenes including the Swiss, German and Italian Alps, and the small fishing villages along the Spanish and Italian coast. I was then able to sell my paintings through different art galleries, and art shows. 

Over the past thirty years, I have focused on painting the faces, landscape and wildlife of our “American West of Today”. I also love reading the history of of the American West. My wife and I have wonderful memories of being at Cheyenne’s Grand Daddy of Them All Rodeo. We stayed with the cowboys many times enjoying the rodeo and festivities. When I travel throughout the U.S., I search for subject matter that will convey my sense of excitement that I feel for God’s gift of life. I am grateful for the talent given, and the opportunities to communicate that feeling about the America of today. My art has been considered traditional, and I enjoy painting in Oil or in Watercolor. Winning art competitions is exciting and I enjoy meeting artists at the shows. I was elected Vice President with the Fine Arts Institute at the San Bernardino County Museum, and President of the American Indian and Cowboy Artists showing in San Dimas CA and at the Autry Museum in Los Angeles. I also was featured in a one man show at the San Bernardino County Museum in Redlands, CA, the featured artist at the Paso Robes Fairgrounds in Paso Robles, CA and featured artist at the Gilman Ranch Museum in Banning, CA. It was so exciting to be one of four artists featured at the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds in Pomona, CA. 

I have enjoyed selling my paintings in art galleries and at art shows throughout the U.S. I am a Signature Member of the American Plains Artists, Watercolor West, Oil Painters of America and show my paintings as an Artist at the California Art Club Gallery in San Marino, CA. I am also an active member of the American Impressionists Society and the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association. It is an honor to have received over 40 major Awards including First Prizes, Gold Medal and Silver Medals for my charcoal drawings, oils and watercolor paintings. I am especially proud to have received the APA Best of Show Award, the Best Plains People Award, the Fritz Heron Heritage Award and more recently the Publisher’s Award with the Western Art Collector Magazine. As a previous judge for many art exhibitions, I understand and appreciate the fact that jurying is a complicated process as there are many note-worthy artists who are proficient at painting scenes and portraits.

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