Richard Baker is a realist painter.
He has been painting the world around him for most of his life. A self-taught artist, he paints people, places and wildlife as he sees them and does not readily conform to a style other than his own. He is adept at painting with oils, acrylics, pastels or watercolors, and is at home working in the studio or outdoors. He captures the light on his canvas, giving his paintings a luminous glow. He relies on pigments and tonal value to give his paintings depth and a realistic appeal.
Richard is inspired by the natural settings and colorful history around him. Many of his landscapes are depictions of old friends – the quietude of the Blue Wall Preserve, the solid grandeur of Hogback Mountain, the ceaseless cascade of Pearson’s Falls or the gentle Pacolet with sunlight dancing along its surface as it flows through snowy banks. His paintings capture the beauty of these places and moments in time, inviting us to know again the glory we may be taking for granted.
As the son of a military officer, Baker grew up traveling throughout three continents, and was exposed to numerous cultures and countrysides.
Richard was a professional zookeeper for thirty-two years in Florida, eventually becoming the curator of a collection of endangered mammals. During this time, he painted primarily wildlife and landscapes.
After twenty-plus years of visiting Western North Carolina, Richard relocated to the Foothills 2006. His long-time love affair with the mountain vistas, cold water streams and pastoral surroundings finally became a reality of his day-to-day life.
After surviving a five hour heart attack in 2010, Richard's “second chance” was his commitment and devotion to his art. Richard said his good-byes to the corporate world and opened his first studio above a pizza parlor. “I paint to live.” “Art is my life and my passion,” he says. “It is who I am.”
Baker paints in his Tryon studio, welcoming art lovers and onlookers. He enjoys plein air painting amidst the natural beauty of the area, and presents on canvas, for all to admire, his visions of that beauty.
Baker is a member of Tryon Painters and Sculptors and The Portrait Painters of America.
Richard Baker Studio 163 N. Trade Street Tryon, North Carolina 28782