Heavily textured with acrylics and whiskey mixed with acrylics. Paint pens. 20 x 20 gallery canvas.

Acrylics, acrylics mixed with whiskey and marijuana, which were some of the items we all indulged in when I was a Marine. Heavily textured. 36 x 24 gallery canvas.

Family History and Heritage: Art by Barry Scanlan

A painting of three friends sitting at a barThree friends at the bar, acrylic and Twin Spirits Distillery whiskey

Barry Scanlan is an American artist of Irish descent. In his artistic practice Barry is primarily a painter, using a variety of media including paint, pencil, and presently, whiskey, to compose images that reference family history and heritage, as well as a history of the 20th century working class. 

A painting recreating an old family photoLooking at the space where dad was standing, acrylic, charcoal, and whiskey


I really enjoy Barry’s whiskey paintings. In some pieces the artist draws with pencil, using whisky to create a single tone accent colour, embracing the warm, neutral sepia tone of the liquor. In other works, Barry’s paintings are thematic -- portraits of people, perhaps friends, perhaps strangers, at bars with glasses of whiskey. In these pieces, the liquor itself seems to be more blended into the overall palette, perhaps adding a warmth to the pigments 


Much of Barry’s portfolio centres around human figures, and I appreciate the slightly abstracted, gestural, almost naive sensibility about these portraits. They are childlike at times, but emphasize colour and the texture and materiality of paint, making these works as much about the artist’s love for the medium as for his family.

A portrait of a steel worker in the 1970sSecond Shift Steelworker, Young's Bar, Southside Pittsburgh, 1970s, acrylic with gel and pumice

Trouble on the Magma Planet. 48 x 30 gallery canvas. Heavily textured painting with aliens, lava, and a space base.

I’m a featured artist at Mia! Foot in the Door 5: The Virtual exhibition just opened online. Please visit the exhibition at:



And you can find my artwork here:








My artwork will be featured in Foot in the Door 5: The Virtual Exhibition at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. The exhibition will run from November 1, 2020 until January 10, 2021. The exhibition will be entirely online. Held once every ten years, "Foot in the Door" is an open exhibition. Now marking its fourth decade, this exhibition celebrates the talent and diversity of Minnesota's visual artists. The sole curatorial criteria? Each submission must fit within one cubic foot. 


I submitted a painting that I felt was sure to get a look from the exhibit organizers. I will post the painting on November 1, when the exhibit goes up.




I have received some photos of the painting Corona, which was recently purchased by an art collector from the Prospect Park neighborhood of Minneapolis. I love how the colors of the fireplace resonate with the colors in the painting.

An art collector, who lives in Prospect Park in Minneapolis, has purchased the painting "Corona."  Corona is a very textured painting which incorporates acrylics, pumice, gel, whiskey, and silicone. It is 36 inches by 36 inches. I think the painting will look lovely in its new home.