Christopher Baker’s paintings convey an absorbing insight for the qualities of place, ambience and light. Often depicting overlooked elements of the natural and constructed worlds, Baker elevates our routine view of things with his acute attention to the attributes of subject and detail. The artist’s work embodies a certainty about that which lasts in a rapidly changing world: momentary fog animates morning’s first light in the garden; the demarcation between sky, clouds, and farm buildings below dissolve in the expanse; children at play are ageless.
“Since I am primarily a studio painter choosing gouache as my medium, I depend on photographs as a source of visual memory. Drawing from photos on paper allows me to make changes in composition and values prior to painting. Though the photos are sometimes used for later reference, the drawings have, at this point, taken on a primary importance and a life of their own. They are the key to the final piece, as they are evidence of most of my thinking, planning, adjusting and even color notation.
Next, I work with large (2”-4”) brushes, establishing lights and darks. At this point, my job is to be aware of changes from drawing to painting, and simply to assist in bringing them to completion. At the source of my work is the “idea” of the drawing. The painting is “good” or “complete” when that idea, (not the technique) is dominant. I am motivated by past work and the possibilities that the future work holds. I feel that my best work is yet to be done, so my present task is to continue producing paintings, “weeding” out the less desirable aspects, so that in the end, the pure “idea” dominates.”
Originally from Western New York, Baker now resides in Weedsport, New York, working daily in his studio.
Baker received his BFA and MFA from Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, NY). He taught art for 38 years in public schools.