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Inviting, Naive-Style Paintings by Barry Scanlan

A loose portrait of a woman wearing a colourful sweater and smoking a cigarWoman with a Cigar

Barry Scanlan is our featured artist for today! Barry creates inviting, naïve-style paintings that may look simplistic, but often have complex ideas behind them, and are painted using many different materials including acrylic, pumice, sand, clay, oil, and latex. Such a complex mixture creates paintings that demand to be seen up close.


A painting of a gray house on a wildly abstracted backgroundGray House

A screen capture of the front page of Barry Scanlan's art 

Large, heavy brushstrokes and bright colours dominate Barry’s works, which heavily feature human subjects, and sometimes rather loving portraits of houses and buildings. The works sometimes take on a cubist appearance – several of Barry’s portraits are reminiscent of Picasso in the positioning and facial features of the subjects. Barry seems to have a real sense of humour about his work, which I as a viewer definitely appreciate! The artist is also clearly not afraid to experiment. The style that he uses ranges from tight and clearly outlined cartoonish images, to almost abstract, extremely loose works.


Barry lives and works in Milaca, Minnesota. 


An abstract painting of three women, with a text poemThree Crazy Women, acrylicand pumice on canvas board

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. She is a recent graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, where she studied Critical and Cultural Practices. She is passionate about talking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In her studio practice she is a painter, but she considers herself an art writer and educator foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises

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