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Barry McCarthy

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'The Red Shed'

oil on canvas 48" x 40"


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'Homestead at Craigmore' (Cape Breton)

oil on canvas 48" x 32"


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'Playground at Cavendish'

oil on canvas 58" x 36"


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'Bell Bouy'

oil on canvas 20" x 30"


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‘Lunch Break View’ (BC)

Oil on canvas, framed 36” x 48”


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‘Mystic Moon’ (Elora)

Oil on canvas, framed 36” x 48”


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‘Winter Soujourn’

Oil on canvas, framed 40” x 54”


Meet Barry McCarthy

Renowned for his luminous landscapes of Southern Ontario & coastal Maritime seascapes

“Lillian Smith once wrote “I soon realized that no journey carries one far unless, as it extends into the world around us, it goes an equal distance into the world within.” I believe she understands the importance of travelling to new places and not just looking but seeing. There is a difference. When you see a wonderful highlight with an equally beautiful accompanied shadow it should talk to your soul. When as artists, we are amazed at this so strongly, we just have to say something about it, whether it be in dance, music, song or paint. It’s all the same spontaneous, reflective action with copious amounts of light and shadow. This is the stuff that makes great art. When I teach painting to young or mature artists I tell them there is no point thinking about painting if you’re not going to deal with the light! Shape, space, composition are all inclusive as important ingredients but it’s the light that is going to drive the thing forward. And this thing is called power! Without power you have mediocrity. The Elora Gorge is a piece of this planet the drives me wild. No matter what time of day it is, one side is always bathed in light while the other is in warm to cool shadows. It’s a formula that makes perfect paintings. This is the Yin Yang in art. If you have perfect balance in your composition, and mix it with a little geometry, you will have the ingredients for a perfect painting.

The sea, is another backdrop that sets the stage for great landscape/seascape works. The sea, with its constant mirror-dance, still holds my eye in constant fascination and respect. The large abstract space is a never ending challenge, as is the use of texture, and techniques that get you there. The sea, with all of its austere foreboding and tension, informs me that I am but an apprentice in serving its greater glory. But to paint it you have to understand it. Picasso once said “I don’t paint what I see, I paint what I know.” One must also remember that technique is merely technique and a good painter must avoid a systematic approach. Great bodies of water constantly change in the light. Colours can morph from grey-blue to greens and purples. In my mind’s eye, I map out the composition. I often see these panoramas in larger formats. Oil on canvas is my chosen medium here; however I have completed very large watercolours as I love the transparent quality this medium provides me. Layering several transparent colours over one another is not a thing of the past. As a matter of fact it is a “must method” if you want your work to be luminous and shimmering. This of course takes great patience, a trait I constantly wrestle with. But in the end, the effort is worthwhile, as the key to the creative process is not about time but about capturing your vision… the thought or inspiration that brought you to the canvas. One must be passionate about one’s own work. The act of painting for me is serious business.”

Barry is one of the curated group of artists that are part of the annual Elora Fergus Studio Tour Show & Sale held in our main gallery every Fall.  He is also one of our featured artists at the Elora Mill Hotel & Spa.


Prices are in Canadian dollars and do not include shipping costs.  Prices are subject to an additional 13% HST.