Monday, October 26, 2015


The ocean and the waves are as much a part of who I am as the blood that flows through my veins. I've surfed the waves and sailed with the swells and have spent countless hours walking beaches from Hawaii to the Carribean, from the Gulf states to the wild shorelines of Northern California. It always renews me and fills me with appreciation for being born on this planet, in this time, in this body.


Walking beaches at night is a whole other world. The crashing of the waves seems both quieter and louder at the same though the sound is amplified by the silence of the night, but quickly sucked up into the depth of the darkness and vastness of the firmament. The Moon and stars provide the only light, but seem more luminous in the stillness. I have just completed these three small paintings as an offering of gratitude to Our Mother Ocean.



These paintings are 8"x10" oil on canvas. The edges are painted and they have a hanger on the back so they can be framed or are ready to hang as they are. I have signed them on the back. I am offering them for sale for $60 each or all three for $150. Please message me if you are interested at:

Thank you for following my work.






Tuesday, February 10, 2015


I seem to have become obsessed with painting Big's been this way for years. I find that even when I'm living somewhere else i am drawn back into painting it from memory. I finally decided the only thing to do was to just settle in here in this place that won't let me go, and fully immerse myself in it. Big Sur is a very long stretch of winding highway perched high above the ocean, and every turn in the road reveals another spectacular vista. It would be easy to just hold my hands out in those little "crop marks" that artists do to frame the composition and then take out my french easel and paint it...and that's what I've done many times...but it hasn't satisfied me.

The view, as magnificent as it is, is only part of the story...only one aspect of the thing that keeps me pretty much mesmerized by the place....and I realized that I don't just want to paint the vista before my eyes....I want to somehow capture the feelings that I get from being here. You can see it in the faces of the tourists who come through for the first time. It's more than just, "Oh what a beautiful view!"....they become's almost a religious experience. Partly it's the scale of the seems that you can see the curvature of the Earth from these cliffs. The ocean seems bigger than anywhere I've ever been and one could spend the day just watching the light show as the sun reflects off the water, lighting up the mist around the base of the cliffs as it climbs and receeds and flows over the hills like a sentient being. It's a very big place, and standing on the edge of the cliffs, looking down at the turquoise and lapis-blue water can give you a feeling of vertigo. It's these feelings that I want to be able to express with paint on canvas. It's more than just painting a's finding my way into the ebb and flow of all the elements around me. It's an elusive quest and each little success keeps me hungry for more. At times, when I find that flow and it's working, I feel like I'm literally's an ecstatic state and it is the thing that keeps me working to improve my skills so that I can share these experiences ever more clearly and powerfully.
RHAPSODY 24"x24" oil on canvas, $1200




Tuesday, January 13, 2015



SERENITY oil on canvas by Barry Howard SOLD

For many years, these bubble-like spheres have shown up in some of my paintings and people often ask what they represent....I try to have an answer because I want to be helpful but in reality I wish they wouldn't ask. To me, one of the best things about art is that it means different things to different people. Each person brings their own perception to it and gives it a meaning that is personal to them. At times I have painted, say, a landscape of the town of Mendocino, for example, and someone will see it and say, " oh look, that looks just like that place we went to in Cape Cod..." or wherever, and they buy it because it represents something meaningful to them....doesn't matter that it wasn't Cape Cod that I painted...and if I insist that it isn't Cape Cod it simply steals the significance of the image from them. So I would rather just leave the meaning of those bubble-like spheres open to interpretation.

Having said that though, they do have a significance to me. They represent other worlds that exist within this world...because there are such worlds going on...we just don't know it because we don't have the receptors to percieve them. We tend to think of reality as a very definite, fixed's not. We humans only come equipped with a limited abiltity to recieve information. Take, for example, the electro-magnetic spectrum...we only detect, with our limited senses, a small range known as the visible light spectrum, when in reality there is infrared, ultra-violet, micro-waves, all kinds of stuff going on but we don't know it, because we can't see to us, it's not part of our reality. Other creatures have different receptors...butterflies and hummingbirds see a whole world of color that we don't....dogs hear sounds that we can't hear and dolphins and whales percieve sonar and can pick up on the blood flowing through our bodies. Reality looks much different to them....IS much different to them. Our own reality is only a partial picture constructed from limited and incomplete putting together a jig-saw puzzle with half the pieces still get a picture, just not an accurate one. All you get is a partial representation of reality. But we humans are very insistent that reality is what we can see and hear. We say, "Seeing is believing..." we tell people to "face reality." All of our senses tell us that this boulder we are sitting on is solid and unmoving, when actually we know it is in constant motion and is made up of mostly empty space. It looks the way it does because of where we are sitting...our point of view...if we could pull back far enough to look at our own galaxy it would look solid and unmoving too. We would be completely unaware of all the stars burning and exploding, planets zooming around them, people sitting down to tea on those planets as they zoom around, and discussing things like our limited abiltiy to percieve reality. From our hypothetical distant vantage point we would swear that we were looking at a fixed, lifeless solid lump of rock. From our distant vantage point we wouldn't exist. The farther away we get from things the more they slow down and appear fixed in time and space. If you have ever looked down at a line of breaking waves from the window of an airplane you will notice that they don't seem to be moving. Like telephone poles whizzing by the window of your car ten feet away...put those telephone poles a mile away and they seem to move by very slowly. It's all a matter of perspective. Perspective changes both time and space. Reality conforms to our perspective. Reality is very fluid and malleable. Reality is what we believe it is...and we're mostly wrong. So those bubble-like spheres help remind me not to take my own interpretation of reality too seriously.