I'm a fringe dweller

Barry Allen Howard - pen and ink - by Olly Duke
Barry Allen Howard - pen and ink - by Olly Duke
Barry and his son's creation has a life of its own.
Barry and his son's creation has a life of its own.

Barry Allen Howard

ARTIST. Creator. Life lover. Barry Howard has lived in busses, vans, sailing boats, microhouses – you name it. He sees society for what is: broken, heartless and inhumane. He expresses his emotions through his paintings. He paints. You interpret. You see what you want.

Barry was brought up pretty conventionally, his mum taking him and his sister to the cinema as the big treat. But he never really fitted in. Indeed, his son Jesse was born while Barry and his wife were living in a converted 1955 milk truck.

“Being a fringe dweller is a tool for dealing with a world that doesn’t make sense,” says the 66-year-old, who lives in Big Sur, California. “When I think about human kind and the potential world that could have been created, and compare that with the real world that we live in… with buildings that sit empty while people live on the street… food that gets thrown away as people go hungry… unimaginable technological abilities that get turned toward destroying one another and our environment as well.

“But I don’t have a negative take on humanity. I try not to let the ugliness in the world darken my energy. Rather, I want to spotlight the beauty in people and in the world. Taken individually I find people are mostly wonderful. I love people even as I realise that a certain aspect of society, currently driven by our train-wreck leadership, is headed off a cliff.”

Art is Barry’s way of rationalising this world of chaos. He says he never wanted a normal life: “So I travelled along the edges of things, observed them from a distance and resolved to craft a life as full of colour and passion and creative expression as I could.”

He used to travel in his micro gypsy caravan, pulled by a bicycle, and paint. His ‘Fire in the Sky’ series of paintings capture the dramatic sunsets and sunrises of New Mexico and California, where, says, there are spectacular pyrotechnic lightshows.

Now he and his 41-year-old son are building – or rather creating – a piece of rolling artwork, a painted wood caravan built on a flatbed trailor chassis. He says they were going to build teardrop trailors, but the plan evolved. “It had a life of its own and kinda got away from us,” he explains.

The caravan floor is made of American hickory. The windows are stained glass. There is decorative, hand-carved wood everywhere. It has a beautiful Mexican sink and worktop decorated with Mexican tiles. While the interior remains natural wood, the exterior has been lovingly painted.

To fund the project, Barry is going to turn the caravan into a tiny, mobile organic coffee shop. Next he and Jesse plan to build similar caravans for people to rent in idyllic settings.

He says he’s ‘really excited about this next chapter in my life’.  Rock on Barry!

Visit Barry’s web site  HERE

And his new website dailypaintworks.com

By Olly Duke (May 2018)

I'm a fringe dweller

Barry Allen Howard

ARTIST. Creator. Life lover. Barry Howard has lived in busses, vans, sailing boats, microhouses – you name it. He sees society for what is: broken, heartless and inhumane. He expresses his emotions through his paintings. He paints. You interpret. You see what you want.

Barry was brought up pretty conventionally, his mum taking him and his sister to the cinema as the big treat. But he never really fitted in. Indeed, his son Jesse was born while Barry and his wife were living in a converted 1955 milk truck.

“Being a fringe dweller is a tool for dealing with a world that doesn’t make sense,” says the 66-year-old, who lives in Big Sur, California. “When I think about human kind and the potential world that could have been created, and compare that with the real world that we live in… with buildings that sit empty while people live on the street… food that gets thrown away as people go hungry… unimaginable technological abilities that get turned toward destroying one another and our environment as well.

“But I don’t have a negative take on humanity. I try not to let the ugliness in the world darken my energy. Rather, I want to spotlight the beauty in people and in the world. Taken individually I find people are mostly wonderful. I love people even as I realise that a certain aspect of society, currently driven by our train-wreck leadership, is headed off a cliff.”

Art is Barry’s way of rationalising this world of chaos. He says he never wanted a normal life: “So I travelled along the edges of things, observed them from a distance and resolved to craft a life as full of colour and passion and creative expression as I could.”

He used to travel in his micro gypsy caravan, pulled by a bicycle, and paint. His ‘Fire in the Sky’ series of paintings capture the dramatic sunsets and sunrises of New Mexico and California, where, says, there are spectacular pyrotechnic lightshows.

Now he and his 41-year-old son are building – or rather creating – a piece of rolling artwork, a painted wood caravan built on a flatbed trailor chassis. He says they were going to build teardrop trailors, but the plan evolved. “It had a life of its own and kinda got away from us,” he explains.

The caravan floor is made of American hickory. The windows are stained glass. There is decorative, hand-carved wood everywhere. It has a beautiful Mexican sink and worktop decorated with Mexican tiles. While the interior remains natural wood, the exterior has been lovingly painted.

To fund the project, Barry is going to turn the caravan into a tiny, mobile organic coffee shop. Next he and Jesse plan to build similar caravans for people to rent in idyllic settings.

He says he’s ‘really excited about this next chapter in my life’.  Rock on Barry!

Visit Barry’s web site  HERE 

And also on his new website: dailypaintworks.com

 

By Olly Duke      (May 2018)

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