Impressionist Painter Captures Poetic Scenes of Rain-Swept Streets

mike barr rainy day impressionist painting

Late Rain – Waymouth Street

Fine artist Mike Barr has one goal in mind when painting a new piece: to share “joy of place.” Specifically, Barr has his focus on Adelaide—his home and South Australia’s cosmopolitan capital city. With its coastal climate and eclectic landscape, Adelaide has proven to be a painter’s paradise for Barr, who specializes in rainy day street scenes. While all of his wet-weather depictions beautifully capture the moody atmosphere of the city on a stormy day, Late Rain – Waymouth Street is one particularly striking study.

Late Rain – Waymouth Street depicts a wet day on a busy road in the city’s center. While the foreground is almost photographic, the background is entirely impressionistic. Through Barr’s quick brushstrokes, blurred lines, and hazy washes of paint, the scene appears alive: as the rain pours, quick-moving pedestrians hide under their umbrellas and cars wait in a weather-induced traffic jam. You can almost hear the windshield wipers!

In addition to his signature impressionist style, Late Rain – Waymouth Street conveys another distinctive characteristic of Barr’s oeuvre: his use of light. Although the sky is grey and the scene is dark, Barr provides pops of color through luminous headlights and the blinking bulbs of traffic signals. He has a particular penchant for painting the light as it bounces off of the slippery sidewalk. “I enjoy the effects of shadow, light and reflection,” he explains on his blog. “Rain in the city may be seem negative on paper, yet it is a real-life drama that evokes both excitement and comfort when seen in a painting.”

You can see more of Barr's moody masterpieces below.

mike barr rainy day impressionist painting

Home-time rain – Waymouth Street

mike barr rainy day impressionist painting

Town Hall Reflections

mike barr rainy day impressionist painting

Rain at the Rocks

mike barr rainy day impressionist painting

Home-time Rain

mike barr rainy day impressionist painting

Franklin to Flinders

mike barr rainy day impressionist painting

Rain on Grenfell Street

Mike Barr: Website | Facebook | Blog
h/t: [Drawing the Soul]

All images via Mike Barr.

Kelly Richman-Abdou

Kelly Richman-Abdou is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. An art historian living in Paris, Kelly was born and raised in San Francisco and holds a BA in Art History from the University of San Francisco and an MA in Art and Museum Studies from Georgetown University. When she’s not writing, you can find Kelly wandering around Paris, whether she’s leading a tour (as a guide, she has been interviewed by BBC World News America and France 24) or simply taking a stroll with her husband and two tiny daughters.
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