Off The Wall Magazine Q&A with Philip Barter



Maine. I’ve lived in Maine my entire life. I was born in Boothbay Harbor in 1939. My family descends from the Barters who settled Barters Island in the 1700s. After graduating from Boothbay High School, I left Maine for a stint with the Army, and tried life in California in the 60s. My Maine roots pulled me back. 

Artist Hero. Marsden Hartley was a major influence on my work.

Studio. My studio is a short walk out the back door of my house. On the entry level are my wood tools, and a small woodstove that serves as the only source of heat. Up a few steps is a separate room where I paint on an easel in the corner, surrounded by my materials and paints. Some of my favorite paintings, not for sale, are stored on the second floor above me. 

Where in Maine. After returning to Boothbay, a friend introduced me to downeast Maine. I fell in love with this less commercialized and tourist-driven part of Maine. My home, studio, and gallery are located on land in Sullivan. I’ve built most of the structure myself, adding on over the years. Much of the material was found washed up on shore. 

Fun Fact. For nearly a decade beginning in the mid-70s, I gave up painting and I worked as a sternman on a lobster boat and as a clammer.

Education. I studied with Spanish abstract expressionist Alfonso Sosa in California in the 60s, and then with Fritz Rockwell when I returned to Maine. Their use of color and bold forms were early influences. 





Learn more about this artist:


Available artwork


Radio Maine podcast interview #87

Off The Wall magazine Q&A


Micro-documentary film