About the Artist

I was born in Colchester, England in 1963, immigrating to Australia with my parents shortly thereafter. Initially we settled at Para Vista in South Australia. It was here my mother became aware of my early talent for art when an astonished kindergarden teacher showed her my aerial perspective drawing of the area we lived in.
At the age of eight we moved to the coastal suburb of Grange, where the beach became a major part of my life.
Fishing from the jetty after school, long walks on wintry afternoons with the family and dog, swimming lessons and lifesaver nippers on the weekends, and my favourite and most profitable pastime, beach combing. Everyday bought new treasures. Jewellery, money, antique keys, exotic marine carcasses and old wine bottles containing strange messages.
Come summer holidays, the family packed bags and headed off to find new and unexplored beaches. Cobowie on Yorke Peninsula, Rapid Bay, Normanville and Kangaroo Island. The ever changing beach became a metaphor for my life.

Aged ten I attended painting classes at the Henley and Grange Art Society. I also got my first paying job as a cartoonist for a local soccer paper (one dollar a cartoon...there was money to be made from art) By the time I was eleven I was selling pencil sketches for five dollars to teachers and parents at the Grange Primary school.
Around this time I developed a passion for soccer. A tug of war began between my passion for art and soccer, soccer winning out until my late twenties. I did my art but not with the conviction I applied to soccer.

I left school at sixteen and began work at John Martins retail store. I painted back drops for window displays and at Christmas helped to produce the magic cave. At John Martins I met my one and only love, my now wife, Jacqueline. When we first met, Jacqueline didn't know a lot about art, but over the years has developed quite a passion for art (luckily) and has become the back bone of my career.

I was accepted into the South Australian School of Art, Underdale Campus, on the strength of my talent as I hadn't completed my schooling. Unfortunately soccer practise coincided with some of my lessons, so after two years I pulled out. A decision that didn't overly concern me, as I felt the art they taught wasn't the way I envisaged art should be, it was good technically, but for me art is about bringing out an inner naivety which could only be developed on your own.

At twenty one I resigned from John Martins to start ' Baines Graphics', producing murals, cartoons, etc. I worked for many high profile companies, the likes of BP Australia, The Australian Grand Prix, S.A. Soccer Federation and numerous publications.

In my twenties I became aware of Andy Warhol, David Hockney and closer to home Prohart and Ken Done, all very different, but I saw in them all a life I wanted.

At twenty four I married Jacqueline. We rented a flat at Henley Beach before buying a house at Grange. We have three daughters,

Since my late twenties I struggled with the decision to give up commercial art and become a fulltime artist. Jacqueline knew of my desire to be an artist but when you have three kids, a house, bills, dogs, cats etc... the idea seemed a joke. After work and on weekends I grasped at the few hours I had, and chased my dream. Painting, drawing, and marketing my art to galleries. I made some inroads, but to be successful I had to spend a lot more time.

A New Life

One day Jacqueline said, " Give up everything, lets chase your dream, I know we'll struggle, but you deserve a chance." That day I excitedly rang all my commercial customers telling them the good news (they didn't greet my decision with the same enthusiasm that it was delivered with) a lot leaving the door open, just incase things didn't work out. But for me there was no turning back, it was do or die. I thought I would start at the top, so I made an appointment with Russell Starke, Director of Greenhill Galleries. I lay six paintings against the wall, "I love them," Russell announced. "I have an opening this Sunday at one o'clock, we'll find some room and see what happens". Come Sunday at three o'clock four paintings had sold...I've never looked back.

Home Page: http://www.andrewbaines.com