Barry Barnett Keith is a native of Alexandria, VA and a product of Alexandria City Public Schools. Keith began drawing Marvel and DC Comics superheroes at a very early age for friends in grade school and after school. Keith was also an avid reader at a very early age because of a set of encyclopedias his parents bought for their home. By the time Keith was in first grade, he was reading on an eighth grade level, and his Principal requested Keith read to him in his office every Friday afternoon. After graduating from T.C. Williams in 1978, Keith went on to The University of Delaware art school where he majored in Painting, Drawing and English.
Upon graduating from Delaware, Keith also took up writing novels. His first novel was published in 2000, entitled The Waiter, about a professional waiter in the restaurant business who cares for a woman he loves who suffers from depression. Keith has since written four other novels (The Cycle- 2002, The Apocalypse-2004, The Silence- 2009 and Aravene- 2012). As a boy Keith studied the paintings of Michaelangelo and Leonardo and was also fascinated by French Impressionist painters like Monet, the works of John Singer Sargent and Whistler. Over the years Keith developed his skills enough to be able to paint in the environment or plein air. Keith developed his own drawing style through the years by producing portraits for local patrons but landscape painting became his love. Keith’s goal in landscape painting is simply to translate what he sees and have the painting indicative of the medium of painting, rather than paint a photographic picture with brushes. Keith regards the act of painting drawing and creating art in general as acts of gratitude for the opportunity to live. “I want to be as prolific as possible as a painter and as a teacher simply to show gratitude, nothing else.” Keith has taught the arts in the Prince Georges County Maryland Public school system for fifteen years- twelve years at Suitland High School and three in elementary school. He is presently the Lead Art Teacher at Mattaponi Elementary School in Upper Marlboro, MD and Rose Valley Elementary School in Fort Washington, MD.