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Bob Barker

Born: Pudsey, West Yorkshire
Lives and works: Bradford
Exhibitions: Leeds City Museum (2017)
“The echoes of my past become my future paintings.”

Inspired by the Yorkshire mill towns that shaped his youth, Bob is known for his ‘Northern Impressionism’ style.


Since being gifted a set of oil paints as a 12-year-old boy, the artist has been captivated by what can be captured with a paintbrush. Where others see soot-blackened brick and polluted skies, Bob sees light and colour. Wielding a palette of blacks, greys and browns, he recreates his working-class roots through gritty depictions of work, love and play.

Drawing inspiration from the Old Masters, his work is a series of tableaus which immortalise the light and shadows that have captivated him for a lifetime. ​Often his signature motif of two hearts can be spotted, symbolising a feeling of togetherness. 

Bob says: “When I paint, it’s almost as if this northern light pours from my brush onto the canvas. It transforms everything it touches, from the cobbled streets to the terraced houses, mills and back alleyways.”

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Inside the world of Bob Barker

The idea for Bob's signature heart motif developed after he began doodling umbrellas and noticed a heart shape taking form. Following this, Bob asked his son and daughter-in-law to pose for him. While the concept started as an experiment, it now represents a feeling of togetherness.

Bob has recently begun to add a little more colour to each painting by building through layers of glazes. This classic technique produces subtle hints of colour while retaining the timeless ‘Bob Barker’ look and is influenced by the Old Masters of the Renaissance period. 

Latest events

Meet Bob Barker

Inspired by the Yorkshire mill towns that shaped his youth, Bob is known for his 'Northern Impressionism' style and will be revealing all about his ideas and techniques. It's also a fantastic opportunity to see the artist's touching portfolio, which illustrates his signature heart motif. Please get in touch if you would like to find out more.   

From the blog

Bob Barker shines Northern Light in Leeds

Nostalgic oil painter brings signature 'Northern Impressionism' to Leeds City Museum for original artwork exhibition.

On yer bike! Bob Barker revs up art

Beloved artist gets blast from the past with motorcycle visit.

Magazines and brochures

Bob Barker | As Time Goes By

"This collection of the original and limited edition of art is an anthology of moments. When you have a good one, it stays with you forever. Your memory is like a scrapbook filling up with life as time goes by" - Bob Barker.

Bob Barker | Jumpers For Goalposts

A very special collection of original works by Bob Barker, in collaboration with Sheffield United to celebrate their 150 year anniversary.

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