Bob Baird

B o b   B a i r d

Old Fig Tree

A practising artist for 53 years, my artwork is predominantly centred on the genre of realism in oil, watercolour, pastel, gouache, and charcoal. My influences are the works of Rembrandt, Lucien Freud, Andrew Wyeth, and Cézanne.

My main genres are portraiture, the human figure, and landscape. Within my work, I have always placed a strong emphasis on drawing and composition as an integral part of my processes. My landscape works sometimes include the human figure, created from painting trips throughout Australia, Europe, Asia, Middle East and North Africa. I aspire to produce beautiful and powerful art that builds upon a classical foundation yet contains a contemporary aesthetic and ongoing search for truth.

Having studied in the 5-year Fine Arts Diploma course at St. George Technical College 1964- 65, the National Art School and Alexander Mackie College of Advanced Education 1974-77 and Sydney Teachers College 1978-79, Bob Baird was full-time art educator with the department of technical and further education from 1980 to 2008.

Since 1979, he has been exhibiting in commercial and public galleries nationally and internationally, including annual solo and group exhibitions at Holdsworth Gallery, Sydney (1987 to 1996).

Baird has been a finalist in prizes including the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize (1988, 1992, 1996, 2000); the Archibald Prize (1994); the Dobell Prize for Drawing (1997); and the 2010 Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award. He was appointed Artist-in-Residence at Dobell House in 1998, where his solo exhibition, A Tribute to Dobell was held in 1999. He participated in Portraits 2001: An Australian Odyssey, which toured regional galleries in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia in 2001-02.

He is represented in public collections, including the Reserve Bank of Australia; the Australian National Gallery, Canberra; the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales; Australian Workers’ Union Head Office, South Australia; His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales; IBM Australia and USA; the Art Gallery of New South Wales; the National Library of Australia; the State Library of New South Wales; Warringah Shire Libraries; Sydney Teachers Credit Union; the Pastel Society of America Collection, New York; the University of Technology Sydney; Bathurst Regional Art Gallery; Tweed Heads Regional Art Gallery; Maitland Regional Gallery; Bundaberg Regional Gallery; Tamworth Regional Art Gallery; Westmead Children’s Hospital Art Collection; Australian Portrait Collection; University of Wollongong and the Art Gallery of New South Wales (Edmund and Joanna Capon Research Library).  

A member of the Australian Watercolour Institute since 1989, Baird is a Fellow of the Royal Art Society of New South Wales and the Pastel Society of America (New York).