Meet the Artist: Barry Gealt

Indiana Vista, 2001
Oil on canvas
36” x 36”
Collection of Ann and Rusty Harrison

These paintings are exquisite. Barry Gealt’s technique is delicate and beautifully abstract. Last Saturday I attended a Meet the Artist event with Mr. Gealt, where I learned a ton about painting and art.

“Some people only need a few colors, and I say ‘Great! No competition!’ because what they make will be dull.”

Coming from a man with over 60 jars of paint powders, Barry believes in color and variety. This is obvious in his paintings, where you can find pinks and whites and blues and purples all mixed in a scene to depict a landscape. He layers the painting, so many of them have what appears to be almost an inch thick of paint. The layers provide a strong sense of depth of field for the landscapes.

These layers add up. His bigger paintings hold about $2000 worth of paint!

Mr. Gealt does not paint outdoors, while looking at the scene. He paints a scene he knows well by memory. It’s a full place, not a piece of scene, he says. He likes to paint perceptually.

“The tools you use help the way you work, or hinder”

My favorite part about the event was his discussion of materials. In addition to all the different colors of paint, he uses several different kinds of brushes, like bulls hair brushes, bristle brushes, fresco brushes, and acrylic brushes and each provides a different effect.

He also uses baker’s palate knives, which he claims are sturdier and more durable than painter’s knives. These tools help create the perfect textures and grooves in his paintings that make you feel as though you are a part of the scene.

As an intern this summer, I saw a few of Barry’s paintings during preparation for his show. From first glance I was very excited to see the rest of the paintings. He is extremely talented and his painting style is incredible. Make sure to take a look at his work in the Special Exhibitions Gallery on the first floor of the art museum, on display until December 23rd.


2 thoughts on “Meet the Artist: Barry Gealt”

  1. Seeing the poster at a Visitor Center, we stopped by IU Museum of Art, and were blown away by Barry Gealt’s sea- scapes. He captures the energy of the ocean crashing over rocks in such an exciting way. It was hard to tear myself away at closing time. Thank you for introducing me to this marvelous artist.

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