Bailin Studio



Reckoning With His Place in the World

March 2005


Little Rock artist David Bailin goes smaller for bigger return.

Five years ago David Bailin turned down an opportunity to exhibit art in the prestigious Koplin Del Rio Gallery in West Hollywood because he didn't want to change from his powerful, large-scale drawings (8 feet by 10 feet and sometimes larger) to the smaller ones the gallery owner thought would sell well on the west coast.

Bailin thought about it for some time. Fortuitously the large basement space he used as his studio became unavailable. He moved everything to his home and began out of necessity trying to make smaller works in a smaller studio. It took nearly six months to learn to draw his signature powerful figures in a smaller format (26 inches by 30 inches). Now his smaller powerful drawings have been bought by such west coast figures as Lucy Liu, Helen Hunt and others. A 2002 show at the gallery elicited this response from Los Angeles Times critic leah Ollman.

"Working in short, charcoal strokes on prepared paper, Bailin draws scenes that read like parables. In each, one person is shown, generally a middle-aged everyman, somehow reckoning with his place in the world. ...They are ordinary men confronting the demands of the moment, which mirror the perennial circumstances of humankind. They are trying to balance, forces earthly and divine, imagined and inescapably real. Bailin's drawings are remarkable chronicles of the effort."

Bailin balances teaching advanced drawing at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and teaching a seminar on contemporary art and basic drawing at Hendrix College in Conway with keeping up with his five daughters, being a good husband to his wife, a partner at the Rose Law Firm and being an artist.

Works by Bailin, the former director of the Arkansas Arts Center Museum School (1986-96), are included in a UALR Faculty Biennial Exhibitionthrough March 12 in Gallery in the Fine Arts Building on the school's campus. Visit his Web site at From that site you may if e-mail him if you are interested in seeing some of the works in person.

1: Clouds • 2004 • Charcoal on Paper
2: Mirror • 2003 • Charcoal on Paper
3: Clearing • 2003 • Charcoal on Paper
4: Sandcastle • 2003 • Oil on Paper
5: Contract • 2004 • Charcoal on Paper
Soiree Cover
Clouds drawing image
Mirror drawing image
Clearing drawing image
Sandcastle drawing image
Contract drawing image