A. E. Barnes Fine Art

I was never interested in painting or drawing
when I was little. I wanted to read books and
study the night sky. I loved to re-decorate my
room, and move the furniture around. I was
more interested in cerebral things and studied
Philosophy and Comparative Religion at the
University of West Florida. That was a long,
long time ago. Since then, I have fallen in love
with the ideas in anthropology, mythology,
and mysticism; especially loving the work of
Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell. I have also
been a student of the Western Mysteries for 30
years. I have visited the inner circle at
Stonehenge, climbed the brambled ruins of
Aros Castle on the Isle of Mull and walked the
desert sand of the Pyramids at Giza. My body
has felt the hard seat of camel and horse,
venturing far and wide to learn whatever I

My parents had an art gallery in
downtown Daytona Beach, Florida when I
was a baby. 1964, to be precise, during that
Aquarian Age of intellectual and social
reformation. My mother is a famous
southern painter, Diana Barnes. My father
is an infamous mathematician and story
teller. So, I have certainly grown up in a
world of ideas and art. We were a little bit
of a gypsy family, touring with my mother
on painting trips and for art show events.
My parents bought some property in
Cashiers North Carolina and my family
built a house, living in tents and bathing
in the Chattooga River for a summer. I
have been going to this family cabin since
1972, enjoying the mountain air and deep
spiritual comfort of the place. I spent a lot
of my childhood in Ft. Walton Beach and
Mary Esther; my mother’s family lived
there. My brother and I enjoyed an idyllic
childhood, searching for pirate treasure in
Old Grayton Beach, roaming the Indian
Mound in Ft. Walton or sailing our small
catamaran on the inter-coastal waterway.

In May of 1989, I had a crazy idea to paint a portrait of my mom riding a pig in her living room,
for a Mother’s Day gift. I got some old plywood and primed it white. Then I began to design the
portrait in the afternoon. I stayed up all night working and got up early the next day and began
again. I loved painting so much that I continued to find boards, painting on them for the rest of
the week. Still lifes, interior scenes of my own house and garden, landscapes from my historic
neighborhood. I had finished about 20 paintings in a week. I stopped eating or sleeping; I
painted everything I saw and began to use wild colors. I bought a set of good oil paints and
borrowed some old brushes from my mom. I had always been in love with the French painters,
the Fauves . Henry Matisse, Maurice de Vlaminck and Andre Derain were my new heroes. I
checked out every library book on Impressionism and Expressionism. I covered my walls in
posters of paintings by Van Gogh and Gauguin. I was hooked on oil painting like a monkey
hooked on chocolate covered bananas. There was no turning back. Being an expert at moving
furniture, I re-arranged my house, making the living room into a giant art studio. That was week
two of my new found painting career. I vowed on the grave of Henri Matisse that I would paint

When I first started painting, the Outsider and Folk Art Movement was getting underway in
the Southern states. Because I never studied art, I was lumped into this new and upcoming
group. I was accepted to prestigious art shows like the Piedmont Art Festival in Atlanta and
shows in Miami, Key West, Dallas, Houston and Washington DC. I loved talking to
customers and learning about their homes and interests. I started painting special order
work for private homes and corporate headquarters. I was able to place my work in
wonderful galleries. I was so lucky to be able to sell paintings, enough to pay my bills. Wow,
how time has flown. I can’t believe I have been painting for 23 years! It seems like yesterday
when I first picked up the brush. I love oil paints the best; but I also use acrylics some of the
time. I learned early on to use the best canvas and paints, which insures a high quality
painting that will last for hundreds of years. I have exhibited in lots of art shows, presented
work in great art galleries in the US and Mexico and sold paintings to many wonderful
people including Rod Stewart and Reggie Jackson. Thank you for buying my art! The
creative spirit is the most important element in a person’s life. Your patronage keeps me
doing what I love.

6 responses »

  1. Hi Ellie,

    This is Michelle MacNeil from Pensacola, Florida. I was speaking with Cheryl Fox about tarot readings for an event, the Mystic May edition of Hot Glass Cold Brew, at First City Art Center on May 6th in Pensacola. She will be traveling and suggested you. She mentioned that you do readings on Decater Street in New Orleans. I was wondering if you do tarot readings, and if so, if you would be willing to talk to me about it. I am curious about it in general and would like to have a reading. If you are not able to, I am wondering if you know anyone in Pensacola that you would recommend. JP and I are in New Orleans several times a month and would love to catch up with you sometime if you are available. Hope you are doing well, Michelle

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello! I met you in New Orleans 4 or 5 years ago at the French Market. I was thrilled to meet you as I’d admired your work at a friend’s house for years. She discovered your paintings at a gallery in Seaside. I had the most delightful time talking with you and purchased a couple of your paintings— one for me and one for a friend. I have another teacher friend who asked me to look for you while in New Orleans. Where can I find you?


    • Hi Melinda. Right now I am working at my other profession. I am the lead psychic and medium at Hex Old World Witchery in the French Quarter. I am not painting right now. But I have some prints at my house and I can do special order paintings for you. When are you coming to New Orleans. Maybe we can meet up. Thanks for your patronage. Elie Barnes


    • Hello Melinda, I am currently not painting. When I start back to work with painting, I can send you photos . Please send me your best email address too. Thanks, Elie Barnes


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