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2008 Emerging Artists

Author: Jennifer Cushman
Issue: March, 2008, Page 145


Since the beginning of his art career, Gary Babb has studied under some remarkable mentors. And yet, none has had such a profound effect on his life and work as Mother Nature herself.

Don't Trip Trail
Winter Dream
 “Nature has been my greatest teacher,” he explains. “My paintings are always from life. There is an emotional connection to a scene that I am trying to capture in my work. The subject [the apple off a tree or the beautiful tree itself] doesn’t matter as much as the feelings I have and my abilities to express those emotions.”
Because most people’s busy lives are filled with issues and images having little to do with a desert sunset or early morning light in a meadow—subjects he captures in his plein-air landscapes—Babb’s inclination is to insert visual speed bumps in the course of daily life.

“Shallow things often catch our attention: a shiny new car, a grand home or an important office. But these things don’t always give you a sense of completion or happiness,” he says. “What I am trying to do with my paintings is to ask viewers to stop, take a moment, and realize that a beautiful scene from nature can provide more joy in that moment than an entire week spent in the pursuit of happiness.”
Creative in other areas, Babb began painting about a decade ago when he worked as a hair stylist and also as an interior designer for department stores. He became a full-time artist about five years ago, when he began painting abstract works in oils. A realism class at the Scottsdale Artists’ School changed his subject matter, his style and, ultimately, his life. After a scant four years into his professional art career, he was invited to join the International Guild of Realism, based in Scottsdale.

GARY BABB: Oil painting
Age: 52
Place of Residence: Scottsdale
Education: Scottsdale Artists’ School and numerous national workshops featuring accomplished artists
Gallery Representation: Scottsdale Fine Art, Scottsdale; Son Rise Gallery, Monterey Peninsula, California 
Exhibitions and Honors of Note: 2006 International Guild of Realism Show; 2006 Plein Air Tucson; 2005 Best and Brightest Show; Scottsdale Artists’ School, 2004;
West Valley Art Museum
Web site:
Quote: “Painters’ eyes are more than camera lenses. It is our responsibility to see nature’s lessons and render the subject in a style that will lead the viewer to a scene that is truer than any photograph may capture.”

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