Like most artists, Baker has a “gallery” of unfinished work, more than 70 of them by his best estimate.
“A lot of times if it doesn’t have a three-dimensional feel to it, I will put it aside real quick,” Baker said when asked what moves him to abandon a project.
Baker’s most faithful critic is Tommy, a 2-year-old schnauzer wo goes just about everywhere with him; he helped supervise hanging the exhibition.
“When I paint, he stands and watches. It actually surprises me, he stands right next to me, and it makes you wonder, ‘What is he thinking?’” Baker said.
With the bicycle season waning, Baker is looking forward to another winter of painting. He said preparing and framing his works for the exhibition has consumed his “down time” this fall. Nevertheless, Baker is likely to be the only Ashtabula businessman who feels a sense of sadness when spring arrives.
“I have to stop, I can’t paint (once business picks up),” he said. “You get frustrated trying to (paint and run the store). It’s not a good thing. I say, OK, it’s time to quit painting and work on the bikes.’”