Between the late 1950s and the early 1970s Carl Barks had a long transitional period, in which he slowly turned from working full-time with comic book stories to working full-time with oil paintings. He started to paint with watercolours, gouache, and oils, under the supervision of his wife Garé who was a very skilled landscape painter. In the first years Barks mainly painted portraits of young girls in exotic surroundings. Then he started to paint landscapes. But while Garé sold well in exhibitions and markets in the neighbourhood, her husband never sold anything. Being the realist he was Barks wound down his activities in the early 1970s (as he wrote to a friend: I'll be glad when Garé earns enough money to support me, so I can retire for real!). But then he received special permission from Disney's to paint the ducks, and we all know how his painting career took off from then on! (See more HERE.)

In the sub-pages you will find some of Barks' early painting motifs in loose chronological order (because the origin dates are not always known), and in some cases the titles are not known (or not given). As you are about to discover Barks dabbled with motifs in different genres and it is now up to you, the reader, to judge if you would have felt inclined to buy some of his very earliest works represented by the chosen examples...

NB.: The majority of the paintings mentioned in the sub-pages were finished products by Barks but they were not sold. Many of them remained in his possession for the remainder of his life. Some of the paintings received Barks' official code (example: 02-68 means that he registered it as the second finished painting of the year 1968). About half of the chosen paintings were never signed by the artist, a task he would undoubtedly have undertaken if a buyer had turned up! Barks made a great many more paintings during the transition years, but some of these were never fully finished. The sub-pages focus on the finished paintings. These have been loosely divided into categories in order for you to be able to better compare the motifs.