About Barry

About Barry

Barry McCann

Barry McCann was born in 1962 in Armidale New South Wales Australia. His interest in art began as a young student creating drawings for school assignments as well as drawing for home. He continued to pursue this passion and refine it through his college years, discovering it was not only a good way to earn some money, but to make new friends as well.


These talents and artistic flair proved invaluable when he became a Chef and cake decorator, but when he enrolled in an introductory watercolour course at the Canberra School of Arts in 1990, he unlocked a new world to explore. With an insatiable thirst for art knowledge, McCann dove headfirst into his artistic studies.


His studies led to discovering a book about the life and artworks of artist John Singer Sargent, who has influenced McCann ever since.  McCann studied with many leading artists in their field to build up his skills and in 2000 decided to become a professional artist.


In 2006, travels to Great Britain and Europe served as inspiration for experimenting with mediums aside from watercolour. As a result he now almost exclusively paints in with acrylics. His pursuit of knowledge and inspiration continues to this day, taking him to some of the greatest museums and galleries in the world.


McCann’s subject matter normally involves an animated object with dramatic lighting. He enjoys the constant challenge of attempting to portray the illusion of both movement and form alongside a narrative. His quest for conveying beauty in his work is paramount, as he seeks the place where traditional, representational art is fused with more modern looks.


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Awards/Group Exhibitions

  • 2013 finalist and winner People’s Choice award Manning Art Prize
  • 2013 finalist the Mortimore prize
  • 2013 finalist Inglis Equine Art Prize
  • 2012 Tradition and Transformation: Taiwan-Australia Watercolour Exhibition
  • 2012 finalist the Mortimore prize
  • 2012 finalist Inglis Equine Art Prize
  • 2012 semifinalist The Doug Moran National portrait prize
  • 2011 finalist The Mortimore Prize
  • 2011 finalist Inglis Equine Art Prize
  • 2011 finalist City of Perth Black Swan Prize for portraiture
  • 2011 winner People’s Choice The Kilgour Prize Newcastle Region Art Gallery
  • 2010 finalist The Kilgour Prize Newcastle Region Art Gallery
  • 2010 winner Portrait The Mortimore Prize
  • 2010 winner prize for Portraiture Walgett Bulldust to Bitumen Art Show
  • 2008 finalist The Archibald Prize – The Art Gallery of NSW
  • 2008 best of show – The Mortimore Prize
  • 2008 finalist The Kilgour Prize – Newcastle Region Art Gallery
  • 2008 finalist The Shirley Hannan Portrait Prize
  • 2008 finalist The Turf Monthly Equine Art Prize

Recent Special Events

  • 2014 Episode 2 Season 7 on the television show Colour In Your Life.
  • 2014 Demonstration The Art Scene Mitchell School of Arts Summer School
  • 2014 Demonstration Wanneroo Joondalup Art Society (Inc) W.A.
  • 2014 Demonstration Watercolour Society W.A.
  • 2013 Episode 11 Season 4 on the television show Colour In Your Life.
  • 2013 Demonstration The Art Scene Mitchell School of Arts Winter School

Gallery Representation

CWM Galleries 149 Sussex Street Sydney NSW 2000

Weswal Gallery 192 Brisbane St Tamworth NSW 2340

Hillier and Skuse Gallery 88-90 Bundall Road Surfers Paradise QLD 4217

Escape gallery 1 Brisbane St Murwillumbah NSW 2484