Michael Barker is an established artist living on the slopes of Te Aroha Mountain in the Hauraki District of New Zealand with his wife Judy and their two Jack Russell terriers.
Their home, named ‘Te Mara’ (which translated from Maori means ‘The Garden’) is positioned in protected native bush 300 metres above the township of Te Aroha overlooking the Hauraki Plains.
Inspired by his surroundings, Michael’s work is underpinned by the unshakeable philosophy ‘natura est magister’ that ‘nature is the teacher’.
‘Te Mara’ provides an ideal studio to exhibit Michael’s artwork as well as allowing space for freedom of expression.
Using several types of media Michael specialises in landscapes and in commissioned portraits in a range of subjects using oils, pencil, pen and watercolour according to the clients’s individual requests.
A desire to depict nature in a way that is both beautiful and realistic attracted Michael to the use of oils. This has allowed an expression in texture, colour and size enabling him to produce a photo-realistic effect.
The use of pencil, pen and watercolour allows detail and colour to be combined with more subtle results such as with his historic renderings of bullock and horse-drawn teams and his animal studies.
Currently he is exploring the use of model-making and photography as well as themes associated with the works of JRR Tolkien.