Barry Fry - The Artist

Have you always painted?

I was born in Kent but have lived in Hampshire for over 30 years. My working professional life has been in education; initially teaching in primary and secondary schools before spending 25 years in higher education at The University of Winchester.

Although I enjoyed art at school, work and family commitments made finding time for painting difficult. What free time I did have was used taking part in sport! It was, therefore, much later when our children had left home that I started to rediscover my interest in art.

Where do you get your inspiration?

I am a self-taught artist taking my inspiration from local and regional landscapes - in particular, the wonderful New Forest, local rivers and the Solent. I also love to travel and have gained inspiration from my visits to India, Vietnam, Cambodia, Morocco, France and Italy.

How would you describe your style of painting?

Painting mainly with acrylic and oil paint, I use pallet knives and other scrapers such as old credit cards. I enjoy exploring colour, light and tone so as to try and capture some kind of emotional response from the painting. Some observers have described my work as semi-abstract, impressionistic or a style relating to contemporary realism - whatever that means!

What do you enjoy as an artist?

As an artist it is important to take risks, which I think is important in trying to give a painting it's spirit and vitality. Such risks manifest themselves from the way I try to see or interpret a subject differently; to try and see beyond seeing! What is then in my head may be beyond reality - but translating that into a painting is the exciting bit - especially when it works!