Gallery Artists > Gary Carter Biography :

Gary Carter (b. 1939)  Artworks >>

Organizations* : CAA

A realist oil painter and sculptor of historical Northwestern scenes, Carter was born in Hutchsinson, Kansas, in 1939 and is currently living in West Yellowstone, Montana. “My family started migrating during the Cherokee Strip land rush and settled in with the Kiowa. My folks started their migrating not too long after I made my debut. Seems like I’ve been rambling ever since. I have spent many of the happiest hours of my life packing with my father in search of another Kansan. The dreams and memories of their West have filled my mind with paintings.

“Started packing when I was five years old. I loved school because if I did well, I had three months on the east slops of the Sierras. That was before the Sierra Club had to protect the environment.” After unloading grocery trucks and serving in the Army, Carter went to the Art Center College in Los Angeles where his realism and Western subject matter were accepted. He then had one year as an illustrator before a one-person show of his Western paintings sold out in Tucson, Arizona. He moved to Tucson and turned to art full-time when he was 33.

The historical subjects that he paints come from his reading and the southwestern Montana valley where he now lives. He composes the paintings on the basis that “if this had happened, it should have been this way.” He works every weekday, “from the time he gets up until he gets tired,” and likes to paint outdoors where the results are “loose and fresh.” In 1978, Carter won Best of Show at the Montana Historical Society, and the following year he was a founding member of the Northwest Rendezvous Group.

Resource: Contemporary Western Artists, by Peggy and Harold Samuels 1982, Judd’s Inc., Washington, D.C.

  • CAA = Cowboy Artists of America
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