Born on 16 September 1935 in Lahore (part of British India at the time, now in modern Pakistan) to British and Portuguese parents who were in the indigo-planting trade, Gerry Baptist was educated in both India and England. Baptist believes that the vibrant colours and energy manifested in his work are influenced by the mystical vivid images and magical colours that he experienced whilst growing up in India.
Baptist studied painting and graphic art at Walthamstow School of Art and the London College of Printing under the tutelage of artists and designers such as George Chapman, Ruskin Spear, John Ward, George Adam and Harold Bartram. After completing his studies, Baptist worked as an art director for advertising agencies in England and Germany, and continued to develop his skills as an artist, painting large-scale expressionistic abstract drawings and paintings from life.
In later life, Gerry Baptist has painted landscapes of electric bright colours that certainly have a psychedelic quality to them! The earth can be bright purple while skies appear in warm shades of magenta in Castle on the Hill, while Heat of the Afternoon depicts a pink pathway with crazy green shades signifying stems of grass. Fauvist influences combined with impressions of travel in Southern Europe inform Baptist's landscapes.
When he works, the artist uses his camera as a sketchbook, documenting and taking notes of his subject. This enables Baptist to create a set of reference images that captures the changing of light and enables him the ability to seize a fleeting moment, a glance, an expression or the spontaneous changes of the environment.