Baker's prolific collection of works depict a raw and real beauty through the timeless medium of charcoal. Arresting emotion and vulnerability in composition, his heavy black strokes and fine lines capture the soft tonal transitions within his detailed and organic reflection of the model before him.
As a suite of works, Portraits of Camden displays Baker's finesse as an artist. Inspired by the great charcoal artists of the Renaissance period, Baker unknowingly depicts the history of Camden Art Group by capturing its founding members. His deft use of this medium is represented in the volume of charcoal works he produced during the 1970s and 1980s.
In the early 17th century, the use of charcoal as a medium was discovered in French cave paintings where images were created using burnt sticks on rock. Over time, charcoal has been used by artists in preparatory drawings as well as more refined, textured and traditional works. When Baker's artistic passions were being unleashed, artists such as Matisse and Picasso brought charcoal into the mainstream as a more common fine art medium.
As a professional artist, Baker is celebrated for his influence on the Camden cultural scene. Partaking in regular Wednesday evening gatherings in the Kindergarten classroom of Camden Public School, Baker contributed to the establishment of the Camden Art Group. He generously shared his technique with fellow members and in many cases he tutored and inspired Camden's most acclaimed artists.
Portraits of Camden features 40 delightful charcoal drawings executed by Alan D. Baker during Camden Art Group sessions.