Starting in the late 1940s Carl
Barks spent some leisure time painting with oils. He had spent
several years before dabbling with watercolours, but he picked up
an interest in oils especially after having met his third wife,
Garé, who was a well-established landscape painter. Barks rarely
sold anything, although he tried hard to sell his small canvasses
filled with rural landscapes and ethnic portraits. A contributing
reason to this failure was, no doubt, that he had a full-time job
as a comic book writer of Disney duck stories, which prohibited
him from digging into the vast subject of oil paintings in
Then, several years into his retirement, Barks was granted special permission from Disney to paint his beloved ducks, and from then on his career as a successful painting artist took off in a big way!
Suddenly Barks found himself with a
ton of work to do because his new painting motifs were in huge
demand by his many comic book fans. The special permission ran
from 1971 to 1976, and in that short period of time Barks managed
to produce no less than 131 numbered
(and mostly) made-to-order duck paintings. The first one sold at
150.00 dollars plus tax, which Barks saw as a lot of money for an
amateur artist, but orders kept pouring in and soon he was in
In 1980 Barks was granted another permit by Disney with two major alterations; 1. The paintings were to be made into lithographs, and 2. The permit had no expiration date! The first clause especially had a tremendous impact on Barks' earnings in these his last golden years, because he not only was very handsomely paid for his paintings, but he often earned more in signing fees (the lithographs were all signed by Barks personally) and royalties!
The sub-pages - divided into Disney paintings and non-Disney paintings - aim to demonstrate how Barks' selling prices took off during all the years...