Barry Whitta notices fine details in nature

Nature inspires the work of Barry Whitta, right down to the tiniest details of his paintings. The Yorkton artist has his paintings at the community pARTners gallery in the Yorkton Public Library. The show runs until October 26.

The paintings are inspired by Whitta’s love of nature, something that he has had all his life. The locations range from distinctive Saskatchewan landscapes, complete with abandoned buildings, to mountains and streams. Whitta says that he has always enjoyed hiking, and has always been compelled to paint what he sees.

“Ever since I was a lad, I enjoyed going hunting and all this kind of stuff, so I notice these kind of things. An old artist told me that I was young that you’ve got to be able to see it to paint it, and I think he’s absolutely right.”

The trick to a successful landscape is similar the a successful photograph. Whitta says it’s all about understanding the light in the scene.

“The big thing is, you’ve got to know where the light is coming from. If you don’t, and you’ve got light coming from here and coming from there, you’re not going to have a very good end result.”

The other trick is patience, and continually learning and improving as you work. Whitta admits that the first time he tried painting, the result was not very good, because he didn’t know what he was doing. He credits learning from his mistakes as well as from teachers like Milton Achtimichuk, who he admits he had to teach how to instruct students better.

“This has all been a learning process, you just don’t learn this overnight... For instance, if you’re painting clouds, the underside of a cloud should be a little darker, because of the sun. Well, if you’re an instructor, you should be telling people, novices, what’s going on and why you are doing that.”

But the most important thing about painting nature is noticing things in the world around you, and Whitta says he notices nature all the time, including on the golf course.

“When I’m out on the golf course, I’m amazed. A lot of the fellas don’t see what I do, or hear the birds that I do... To me there is more to going out there and hitting the golf ball, and bemoaning that it doesn’t go straight.”

Whitta might be in his 80s, but he is still working on trying new things and attempting different styles from what he has already done. He hopes that in the next year he can take a class so he can better paint faces. Inspired by Norman Rockwell, he has some ideas in mind, such as a father cutting down trees while his son copies him with a toy chainsaw.

“I’ve got some terrific ideas, but you’ve got to put these faces and expressions in there. If I could do that I would really be happy.”

article continues below
© Copyright Yorkton This Week


NOTE: To post a comment you must have an account with at least one of the following services: Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ You may then login using your account credentials for that service. If you do not already have an account you may register a new profile with Disqus by first clicking the "Post as" button and then the link: "Don't have one? Register a new profile".

The Yorkton This Week welcomes your opinions and comments. We do not allow personal attacks, offensive language or unsubstantiated allegations. We reserve the right to edit comments for length, style, legality and taste and reproduce them in print, electronic or otherwise. For further information, please contact the editor or publisher, or see our Terms and Conditions.

comments powered by Disqus

Hockey POLL

Should the province have given money to the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League?

or  view results