John P. Barbie, Jr.
John P. Barbie, Jr. - Bromeliad Artist
John P. Barbie, Jr. and one of his paintings.
If you ever wished that you could have a particularly beautiful bromeliad last forever in its finest glory, you can certainly obtain your wish through the artistry of John Barbie
became interested in bromeliads as a boy and began to collect and draw them when he
was only fourteen years old.
Since then, he has received a Bachelor of Arts degree in art education from the University of South Florida and in the past few years has renewed his interest in drawing bromeliads.
discovered the need for more accurate pictorial representations of bromeliads when he
began to seek new plants for his
John's keen eye and appreciation of nature is evident in his
Living in Tampa, Florida he
sees native bromeliads on a day to day basis and has also traveled in Mexico and Ecuador.
It is the beauty of bromeliads as they grow naturally that he
tries to capture in his
drawings, usually done in colored pencil, are rendered in such perfect detail of form and color that they can easily withstand the most critical, close inspection.
delights in representing a plant as accurately as possible, especially a plant which was collected from the wild, with some signs of its natural origin included.
It may be a tattered or brown tipped leaf, or perhaps a hole where an insect had a meal.
It is also not unusual to see a few withered brown leaves at the plant's base.
"After all," says John
, "that is how they grow.
A painting of Neoregelia melanodonta by John P. Barbie, Jr.
A painting of Aechmea orlandiana by John P. Barbie, Jr.
A painting of Guzmania musaica by John P. Barbie, Jr.
John's work as a bromeliad artist is beginning to gain the recognition it deserves.
was featured in a one-person exhibition at the Marie Selby Botanical Garden's Museum of Botany and the Arts
in the spring of 1980.
For those who attended the 1980 World Bromeliad Conference in Orlando, his drawings were a special treat; more than a dozen were on exhibit.
In a secret ballot vote for the most popular art display, John's drawings won by a landslide from among 10 exhibits from across the country.
At the 1982 World Bromeliad Conference
in Corpus Christi, Texas, John's work won both 1st and 2nd place trophies in a similar popularity balloting.
Beautiful souvenir posters were created by John
for both the 1980 and the 1982 World Bromeliad Conferences.