John William Barnes: From the Board Room to the Drawing Room

Nashville, TN (Vocus) August 25, 2010

After a long and successful career as a creative director where he created 1,500 album covers for more than 200 artists, and thousands of ads, J.W.(Bill) Barnes has committed himself full-time to the pursuit of his passion. Barnes has turned to painting in a conceptual, surrealist style as well as traditional European landscapes and still-life painting.

“I like to draw my inspiration from sources that aren’t normally put together,” says Barnes. “…it really causes the viewer to examine the painting with a critical eye. As a result, I find that many of my paintings end up reflecting the surrealist style.”

Barnes began to develop his personal style when he enrolled in the Famous Artist Correspondence Course, which taught him a great deal about perspective and composition. He then continued his graphic and fine art studies at The Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, California. He received his degree in Advertising and Design and graduated with honors. Honing his craft, Barnes continues to study the work of many great painters and frequently attends the workshops of artists all over the country when he’s not teaching his own. The results of his dedication are easy to see in his captivating paintings.

“Working in the presence of other artists at workshops has helped me discover techniques and styles that have strongly influenced my work,” Barnes says. “It has also helped me transition from the world of graphic art, where perfection is expected immediately, to the world of fine art, where even master painters will revisit an old work in order to correct a small detail.”

With his strong dedication to his craft has come a wave of due recognition for his work. Barnes has been featured in several shows in Nashville and around the South. He was also profiled and featured in three issues of International Artist Magazine in 2009.

Many of his paintings can be viewed at, which contains galleries of his work in categories such as conceptual, landscape, still-life, portraits, and mixed media. To contact the artist, or to inquire about specific paintings, gallery showings or commissioned painting, please email barnesco(at)comcast(dot)net.

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