Hal Barton was born in Adelaide in 1927. His passion for the landscapes of Australia began at an early age when he would wander in the Adelaide Hills with a sketchbook in hand recording nature around him.
Barton gained his early art tuition at the South Australian School of Arts & Crafts with the advantage of being tutored by prestigious returning Australian official war artists.
During his painting trips to Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills, also the home of legendary Australian landscape painter, Sir Hans Heysen, Barton received guidance and encouragement from Heysen, but also found his own unique way of depicting the Australian bush, tending away from sweeping vistas and being more interested in portraying the unique beauty and details of forests, many including the local flora.
In 1972, Hal Barton moved to the Sunshine Coast and lived in the Eumundi and the Noosa Shire for 35 years. He was regarded as an art legend in the region, where he developed a reputation as one of the area’s best and most loved artists, conveying with great skill the beautiful beaches and bushland locations of the area.
Later in his life, Barton also painted still life. Demonstrating his versatility with subjects, he was also a finalist in the 1992 Doug Moran Portrait Competition and won four major prizes at the prestigious Camberwell Rotary Art Show.
Barton painted with great motivation and commitment and worked all his life as a full-time artist. He held many shows in Queensland and other states, including 30 solo exhibitions, with his works being well known around Australia. Works of Hal Barton are held in private collections in Australia, New York, London, Ireland and many other places overseas.
In 2003, Barton spent an extended period with his wife in Florence, studying art and painting at Master Classes at Florence’s famous Uffizi Gallery. On his return to Australia, he held an exhibition of Florentine scenes.
After living at the Sunshine Coast for decades, Hal and his wife moved to Tasmania to experience a change and after four years moved back to Queensland to avoid the cold, eventually settling at Russell Island. On 25 September 2015, Hal Barton passed away.