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Painting has been a lifelong passion for Robert J. Barber, and he paints as faithfully to life as he possibly can. He is fascinated with why things appear the way they do, and this inspires him to paint realistically. At the same time, our world is an active and continually changing place, and Robert seeks to reflect this sensation by also painting with energy and movement.

Robert feels a tremendous affinity with painters of the past. The great masters Diego Velázquez, John Singer Sargent, Joaquín Sorolla, and others have inspired him throughout his life, and he feels at home carrying on with the best of these traditions.

In 1981 Robert earned a bachelor's degree in Studio Art from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and in 1984 he earned a second bachelor's degree in Fine Arts at the Art Center College of Design. During school and after, Robert studied with nationally recognized painters Dan McCaw, Craig Nelson, and Ken Auster. Robert freelanced as an illustrator for twenty years, and several of his paintings are on display in Natural History Museums.

Robert is an Artist Member of the Mid Atlantic Plein Air Painters Association, and he has won a number of awards, including the Grand Prize in Plein Air Easton, Best in Show and People's Choice at MAPAPA's “Paint Annapolis” exhibitions. He has been juried into the “Arts for the Parks” Top 100 and Mini 100 exhibitions sponsored by the National Parks Academy for the Arts, and he has been juried into the Oil Painters of America national exhibition. Robert and his wife Susan and their daughter Sofia reside in Pennsylvania.


Honorable Mention - 2023 ARC Salon in Figurative category, for: "Advent"

Finalist Designation - 2023 ARC Salon in Plein Air Only category, for: "Lilies Loudly"

Finalist Designations - 2021 ARC Salon in Plein Air Only category, for: "Up" and "Rose Mallows Together"

Top 50 Portraits of the Year Designation - 2020 Portrait Society of America Exhibition, for:"Bunny"

Best in Show - Best of the Chesapeake 2014, McBride Gallery

Honorable Mention - 2014 Plein Air Easton

Second Place - Best of the Chesapeake 2013, McBride Gallery

First Place - 2013 New Hope Plein Air

Third Place - 2013 Plein Air Easton

Third Place - 2011 Plein Air Easton

Finalist - Landscapes - The Artist's Magazine 26th Annual Art Competion 2009

Best in Show - MAPAPA 2007 Paint Annapolis Exhibition

Grand Prize - 2007 Plein Air Easton

Finalist - American Artist Magazine 2007 Cover Competition

Honorable Mention - Landscapes - The Artist's Magazine 23rd Annual Art Competion 2006

Best in Show and People's Choice- MAPAPA 2006 Paint Annapolis Exhibition

Second Place - 2006 Havre de Grace Plein Air Painting Competition

Second Place and Best Architectural - 2006 Plein Air Easton

Best in Show and People's Choice- MAPAPA 2005 Paint Annapolis Exhibition

Best in Show - MAPAPA 2004 Paint Annapolis Exhibition

Award of Merit - MAPAPA 2003 Paint Annapolis Exhibition



The Mid Atlantic Plein Air Painters Association - Artist Member



Plein Air Easton, Easton Maryland:

2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2007, 2006, 2005


2013 Best of the Chesapeake, McBride Gallery

2013 Plein Air New Hope, New Hope Pennsylvania

MAPAPA Paint Annapolis Exhibition, Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts:

2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003


2006 Havre de Grace Plein Air Painting Competition

2004 San Luis Obispo Plein Air Painting Festival

2003 Georgetown International Art Competition, Fraser Gallery

2002 Oil Painters of America, National Exhibition

2002 Arts for the Parks, Top 100

2004 Arts for the Parks, Mini 100


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Photo of Sofia and Robert
Photo of easel with lavender Rhododendron
Photo of Robert painting with brush in mouth
Photo of Robert speaking to a group of painters
Photo of Robert with painting friends David, John, Michelle, and Lisa