Artist Bio & Statement
William Barkin is currently known for his winter landscapes and his ability to capture the effect of falling snow – be it a blizzard or a gentle “veil” covering the panorama. After executing abundant works on canvas over his forty-year career, his medium of choice has evolved to oil paint on panel, preferring the stability, which is not subject to the inherent whims of climate activity and offers a more stable environment for the paint.
Barkin was born in New York and at the age of eighteen moved to the bucolic Berkshires in western Massachusetts - he has since relocated to Palm Beach County, Florida. Primarily self-taught and inspired by the artistic influences of Corot’s early Italian plein air oil sketches to the starkness of Edward Hopper’s scenes of America, Barkin studied drawing and the craft of oil painting with the noted American muralist and illustrator Alton S. Tobey and painter/cartoonist Leo Garel.
Stating no particular “style” of painting, Barkin rejects a one size fits all philosophy, preferring a body of work that varies significantly in composition and style. He has always striven for a balance in the relationship of nature and architecture. His works range from New England landscapes to Italian vistas, with the occasional portrait or still life. His technique is wholly dependent on the motif and desired outcome - believing that composition is primary and that a skilled painting method cannot make up for a design that is not compelling. He states that it matters not if the execution is a tad “sloppy,” as long as the design and composition are strong and sound.
Barkin believes that what counts is what’s on the wall. It is the artists hand that dictates the aesthetic value of a piece of art. One can seek degrees or study with a master, but ultimately it is the ongoing self-education, desire, and will that drives an artist who paints to achieve personal artistic goals - striving to make art that evokes an emotional and personal response by the viewer. He believes that art should be a valued and prized possession that spans the lifetime of its owner and that is cherished by succeeding generations.