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David Baker: Artist Feature

I self-identified as an artist as a child; still a puzzle, as I had absolutely no model for what an artist was. In college I was pulled toward art education. I would save the Universe by helping each child discover the artist hidden within themselves. While I now smile at that youthful Idealism, I also acknowledge that often, that is just what happened. I spent 44 years in classrooms from middle school to college. I now teach a bit at the Krasl Art Center, Ox-Bow School of Art, and I conduct private workshops. Other than that, I am in the studio. I serve on the board of the South Haven Center for the Arts, and help on the Exhibition Committee.

My three principle media are oil, watercolor, and charcoal. I also worked in black wax crayon for a decade. Stylistically, and more or less chronologically, I’ve done figurative works, color field painting, expressionism, and for the past 20 years or so, plein air and landscape painting. In the natural world I find metaphors for the human experience. My work is a kind of poetry; informed by nature and personal experience.

While tools won’t help one’s creative vision, a well designed tool makes working a joy. I am a paintbrush-nerd. One particular #8, round, Kolinsky sable watercolor brush is the best tool I have ever owned! I used to treat myself to a new one each year. And…the company went out of business five years ago. I’ve spent a chunk of money on quality brushes without finding one that quite measures up.

If you are interested in seeing more of my work, my website is:, The site also includes two video pieces. I keep people informed about my current studio activity on Facebook, David Baker-Painter. I maintain a studio in the Box Factory in St. Joseph. And, I’m represented by Rising Phoenix Gallery in Michigan City, IN.

My newest watercolors are ready for the member show at the South Haven Art Center. I’ve begun a new body of work with the tentative title, Rivulet. Some of these pieces will be included in an invitational exhibit, Atmosphere, at Southwestern Michigan College in November


David Baker is a South Haven Center for the Arts Artist Member. As a benefit of this membership level, we are proud to be featuring Artists Members on our blog. If you are an artist member and want to be featured, email us at Want to be an artist member? See more information here:

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