Although an accomplished painter in oil or transparent watercolor, Chris Baker’s medium of choice is gouache or, as it is often called, ‘opaque watercolor,’ because its binding agent, gum arabic, is water-soluble. A uniquely flexible medium, gouache can be applied in a highly viscous state to build texture, or it can be diluted to create the broad washes of
In creating each of these effects, the artist finds gouache a highly versatile medium. Its viscosity allows him to "draw" with his brush, producing the strong illustrationist character of the work. Yet, the medium can be applied in thin washes to create the marvelously varied tonal effects of his skies, or it can be layered on the surface to provide the resonant luminosity of Bakers night scenes.
Chris Baker earned his Master of Fine Arts degree at Rochester Institute of Technology, studying with the late Fred Meyer. His work has been included in prestigious juried exhibitions such as the Finger Lakes Exhibition at Rochesters Memorial Art Gallery, the Cooperstown National, and at the Schweinfurth Museum in Auburn. He has had one-man shows at many upstate New York galleries. He has taught art in Cato, New York, for over twenty years, and in 1974 he was artist-in-residence at Letchworth State Park. Baker lives in Weedsport, New York, with his wife, Barbara.