Ernie Morton (Ernest) Baber
Ernie Morton (Ernest) Baber is active/lives in California, New Mexico, Colorado / India, France. Ernie Baber is known for trompe still life painting, etching.
Ernie Morton (Ernest) Baber
Biography from the Archives of askART
Each painting by Ernest Baber is intended to be a rich collection
of colors, textures and surfaces. His work, usually with a Southwestern
motif and highly realistic, focuses sharply on contrasts and
composition. His style is strongly reminiscent of the Dutch
Masters, and he thinks of his subjects as "what Vermeer might pick if
he were alive today." With still life that "resonates with history and
quality," his career as an oil painter is the culmination of a long
process of studying art and its applications.
Biography from Askart.com
Baber was born in
Denver, Colorado, to a family of itinerant musicians. Showing
early talent for art, he attended Western State College with the
intention of becoming an art teacher. He soon realized that the
curriculum emphasizing teaching rather than painting and drawing was
personally inhibiting. Then, after a stint in Vietnam as a
Marine, he enrolled in the Colorado Institute of Art in Denver.
But turning to fine art instead of commercial art, he went to New York
where he studied painting with David Leffel and Robert Beverly Hale at
the Art Students League. There he found the environment for
him. Artist were from all over the country, and teaching emphasis
was on both the basics of art and creativity.
In 1973, Baber
went to Europe to see first hand the European masters. He visited
museums in Spain and France and then lived in London for two
years. He later returned to France where he married a French
woman, Anne-Marie, who is a craftsperson. For the next seven
years, they lived in India. He continued painting, but his
primary focus was music, playing the sitar, which he studied at
Rabindar Bharati University. In 1982, the couple moved to Santa
Fe, a place they found stimulating for arts-oriented people like
Of his work, Babar continually refers to the
importance of "atmosphere, which, for him, is a reference to the darker
tones and poetic effects he admires in the European masters. He
often depicts objects emerging from darkness to areas of isolated
light. He writes that he also enjoys "doing florals, mostly for their
beauty and delicacy but also for what they symbolize in life and
nature, the finite and the infinite."
He always paints from
actual arrangements, never photographs. Although his work seems
perfectionist, he is a relaxed, low-key person. His still lifes
are detailed; his fruit appears to be blemish free, but his work is not
"super-real." Many of his objects are collectibles such as things
he has borrowed or purchased in markets, antique shops, etc. For
Baber, "almost always the best paintings are the simplest, especially
when it comes to color harmonies. . . . there are infinite subtle
possibilities of color when you use colors opposite each other on the
LeKae and Taos Galleries, Scottsdale
Ernest Baber was born in Denver, Colorado in 1949. After completing his undergraduate work at Western State College, he served two years in the military and then continued his art studies at the Colorado Institute of Art.
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Realizing a passion for fine art, he sought the finest school and instruction, and consequently moved to New York City where he joined the Art Students League of New York. For three years, Ernest studied under several artists, fine-tuning his talents, and his greatest influence came from the painter, David Leffel. From Leffel he learned the understanding of light and shadow and developed his 'painterly' technique.
In 1973, Ernest moved to Europe to be closer to the paintings of the European Masters who he so admired. For several years he traveled throughout London, Paris, Spain and finally lived in India for seven years.
The rich cultural experience of Europe is evident in the paintings of Ernest Baber. Artifacts collected during this period appear in the magnificent still-lives that Ernest paints. From working with actual displays set up in his studio, utilizing natural light, there is a dramatic quality apparent in his work. Well-composed and jewel-like in appearance, Ernest's paintings have a magnetic appeal.
In addition, many paintings are framed in a specially designed frame created by the artist's own hand in a 15th Century technique known as "sgraffito".
Jones & Terwilliger Galleries
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