Gary Harris

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A LITTLE ABOUT ME…

Influenced early on by my Mother’s artistic abilities, I began to draw.  It seemed I never had enough paper.  Even though I enjoyed playing outside with my friends, I could usually be found in my room drawing.  After serving in the Army, I took advantage of the G.I. Bill and attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and received a BS Degree in Architecture.  After graduating from Cal Poly I worked almost 30 years for the California Department of Transportation in the Transportation Architecture Branch. We were responsible for the design of maintenance stations, roadside rests, toll plazas and other highway related structures.   I retired from Caltrans in December of 2007.  I paint more now that I am retired.  I’m not a world traveler so most of my paintings are variations from calendars, books and photos I have saved over the years and even pictures from the internet.

I became interested in oil painting years ago when I came across a painting instruction book by Bill Alexander.  I was always intrigued with the magic of Bob Ross and his 30 minute paintings.  I learned very quickly that painting is not as easy as Mr. Ross made it seem!  I also enjoy the works of Thomas Kinkade and the artists of the Hudson River School.  I have been accused of putting “too much detail” into my paintings.  Each painting can easily take 3-6 weeks to complete.  Perhaps drawing building details for 30 years contributes to some of time-consuming and over-worked paintings.  My art is very personal to me, of the paintings I have sold, the hardest part was letting them go.  I enjoy being surrounded by my work which is such a very big part of me.  Selling my art is not as important to me as wanting the viewer to do a double take and remember how the image made them feel.  If perhaps my art inspires just one person to take up drawing or painting, then I feel I have really accomplished my ultimate goal.  Today I live in Fair Oaks with my wife Mary and our two cats Jordan and Dexter.