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LIFE’s Canvas: Bobby Baker’s art is a monochromatic symphony

Bobby Baker in the Art Barn

When it comes to finding the right shot, Baker says he never lacks for inspiration. “One of the magical things about the Cape,” he says, “is you’re not going to go out for a day walking along the coast or the beach and be like, ‘Geez, there’s nothing to shoot.’ You’re going to come upon something. That’s part of the fun—the surprises along the coast, and when I find those that’s what I want to capture.” Are there places he keeps being drawn back to? “Yes, but I won’t tell you,” he says with a smirk, explaining that he’s discovered over the last 20 years a few special secret spots. “Let’s just say Chatham has a soft spot for me.” Speaking of Chatham, Dena, who often accompanies Baker on shoots as his assistant, adds, “That light that comes into those sandbars and during low tide… If you’ve never experienced it, you will with his work.”

It’s that light—a magnificently warm, lush kind of light—on Cape Cod that continues to fascinate Baker. “There have been a couple times when it’s just rocked me,” he says. “It just stops you, and you’ll miss shots just because you’re taking it in yourself. It’s a special feeling.” It’s the same kind of special feeling Baker experiences every time he walks along the Cape’s beaches and looks out onto the ocean, every time he pauses to take in all of the unbridled beauty that surrounds him in this place he now calls home. “Here I just feel this overwhelming sensation,” Baker says, “and I think that translates in my work.”

To learn more about Bobby Baker, visit, and for more on the Bobby Baker Gallery, visit BobbyBaker.Gallery. Baker’s work may also be seen at Steve Lyons Gallery in Chatham.

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