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BIOGRAPHY - Gregory Frank Harris B. 1953

harris_gregory_frank_web.jpg

The study of art and the history of art are closely intertwined in the work of Gregory Frank Harris, reflecting his exploration of technique and art history as well as the expression of his personal interests and values. For Harris, the processes of making art have been a lifelong fascination, from his childhood interest in sculpture and drawing to his ongoing investigation of old master technical innovations.

Born in southern California, Harris and his twin brother grew up in a family that embraced the visual arts as well as theatre and music. During his stint at California State University in Long Beach, he studied both art and theatre, but also began writing music, which then became his primary focus. Over the next decade, Harris and his brother played piano and drums respectively in a variety of bands, earning their living in the nightclubs and hotels up and down the west coast. The first sign of a new direction appeared while the band was on the road in Spokane, Washington where Harris rekindled his interest in painting.

Like generations of artists before him, Harris turned to the old masters and the impressionist painters as sources for his study of painting. Copying their work allowed him to investigate, and eventually understand, the techniques that they used, and to begin to develop his personal voice as an artist. Unlike most young painters, however, Harris was fortunate to have two of his old master copies, Rembrandt’s Woman with Pink and Gainsborough’s Blue Boy, selected as props for the 1982 film version of the musical Annie, directed by John Huston. Perhaps as an indication that he was increasingly serious about his painting, Harris also began exhibiting at juried shows in 1982 and marketing his work nationally.  Juried exhibitions--and awards--followed, including an unprecedented first, second and third place award in the popular vote at the historic Lyme Art Association in 2001.

During these years, Harris concentrated his study of art historical models on nineteenth-century naturalist painters such as P.-A.-J Dagnan-Bouveret (1852-1929) and Léon Lhermitte (1844-1925) and impressionists like Claude Monet (1840-1926). As he notes, “Impressionist techniques seemed magical” when he first began investigating it.  Capturing the effect of light on a particular place at a particular moment is at the heart of plein air painting as defined by the impressionists; for Harris, this quest has continued to    offer myriad explorations as his work has evolved over the years.

By the mid–1980s, Harris decided to leave California to study at the Art Students League in New York City, and he subsequently settled in Duxbury, Massachusetts in the 1990s. There, he continued his plein air painting, working with Wendy Martin who served not only as his model but also created the nineteenth century costumes seen in the images. A workshop at the Fechin Institute in Taos, New Mexico, however, lured him back to the southwest in 1996, and he spent the next four years living in Santa Fe. By 2000, however, he returned to New England, this time to Lyme, Connecticut where he taught private students as well as classes at the Lyme Art Association. During these years, Harris was also affiliated with the Putney Painters, a loosely organized group of representational artists centered around Richard Schmid and Nancy Guzik based near Putney, Vermont. Typically, a group of painters would arrive at the large studio barn every other weekend to spend their time working in the company of other artists and receiving casual mentorship from Schmid and Guzik.

In 2003, Harris returned again to Santa Fe where he is surrounded by a landscape that offers abundant sites for exploring new dimensions in painting, and a city that is home to a thriving and diverse arts community. As he explains it, the decision to investigate a variety of techniques in landscape painting has only solidified the connections between his figural works and more abstract images. The “mystery of what paint can do” continues to be a central study for Harris, linking old masters, impressionists, and naturalists with his own imagery. The alla prima application of paint used by artists such as Diego Velázsquez (1599-1660) and John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) thus emerge in Harris’s work in a fresh form, as does the richly textured impasto technique of Monet.

At the core of much of Harris’s work is a sustained dialogue between plein air painting and creating works in the studio. Although the concept of painting directly on site--in front of the motif--has its roots in the late eighteenth century, it was not until the late nineteenth century that this approach was accepted as a serious methodology for creating finished paintings rather than simply sketches. Harris offers a contemporary perspective on this duality, noting that plein air painting pushes him to develop his figural images more thoroughly in the studio. In his naturalist images, where he works with both models and photographs, he comments that it has become “very challenging to see how much better” his figural paintings have become as he has explored the landscape subjects around Santa Fe. In short, Harris’s curiosity about historical techniques combined with his study of the texture of paint and the elusive challenge of capturing light on canvas have all informed his growth as an artist.

Janet Whitmore, Ph.D.

Selected Public Collections
Ella Carothers Dunnegan Museum of Art, Bolivar, Missouri
Zigler Museum, Jennings, Louisiana

Sold Works
gregory_frank_harris_g1137_along_the_shoreline_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Along the Shoreline
Oil on canvas on board
12 x 10 inches
Signed
gregory_frank_harris_g1134_summertime_along_the_sea_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Summertime Along the Sea
Oil on canvas-panel
24 x 30 inches
Signed
gregory_frank_harris_g1125_summer_roses_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Summer Roses
Oil on canvas-panel
19 x 19 inches
Signed
gregory_frank_harris_g1126_sunlight_wind_and_sea_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Sunlight, Wind and Sea
Oil on canvas-panel
12 x 20 inches
Signed
gregory_frank_harris_g1129_going_home_from_the_fields_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Going Home From the Fields
Oil on canvas-panel
14 x 24 inches
Signed
gregory_frank_harris_g1130_shell_seekers_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Shell Seekers
Oil on canvas on board
14 x 11 inches
Signed
gregory_frank_harris_g1122_rest_along_the_river_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Rest Along the River
Oil on canvas-panel
32 x 24 inches
Signed
gregory_frank_harris_gh1123_afternoon_in_the_rose_garden_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Afternoon in the Rose Garden
Oil on canvas-panel
18 x 27 inches
Signed
gregory_frank_harris_g1118_along_the_river_epte_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Along the River Epte
Oil on canvas-panel
14 x 11 inches
Signed; also signed, titled and dated on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1117_sunny_day_at_the_beach_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Sunny Day at the Beach
Oil on canvas-panel
28 x 22 inches
Signed
gregory_frank_harris_g1115_evening_by_the_shore_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Evening by the Shore
Oil on canvas-panel
14 x 21 inches
Signed
gregory_frank_harris_g1112_on_the_pacific_shore_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
On the Pacific Shore
Oil on canvas
24 x 36 inches
Signed; also signed and titled on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1108_daydreams_laundress_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Daydreams (Laundress in the Tuileries, Paris)
Oil on canvas-panel
14 x 11 inches
Signed; also signed and titled on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1109_springtime_in_the_fields_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Springtime in the Fields
Oil on canvasboard
16 x 24 inches
Signed; also signed and titled on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g_a_la_fontaine_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
A la Fontaine
Oil on canvasboard
16 x 14 inches
Signed; also signed and titled on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1106_clearing_skies_the_parisian_laundress_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Clearing Skies (The Parisian Laundress)
Oil on canvasboard
24 x 16 inches
Signed; also signed and titled on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1104_garden_pathway_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Garden Pathway
Oil on canvas-panel
12 x 18 inches
Signed; also signed and titled on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1103_coastal_morning_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Coastal Morning
Oil on canvas
12 x 16 inches
Signed; also signed and titled on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1105_late_afternoon_tea_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Late Afternoon Tea
Oil on canvas-panel
20 x 16 inches
Signed; also signed and titled on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1102_from_the_garden_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
From the Garden
Oil on canvasboard
16 x 20 inches
Signed; also signed and titled on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1101_among_the_roses_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Among the Roses
Oil on canvas-panel
12 x 18 inches
Signed; also signed and titled on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1100_distant_light_on_the_pasture_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Distant Light on the Pasture
Oil on canvas
24 x 36 inches
Signed; also signed, titled and dated on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1098_april_wildflowers_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
April Wildflowers
Oil on canvas-panel
20 x 22 inches
Signed; also signed and titled on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1089_in_the_light_of_summer_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
In the Light of Summer
Oil on canvas
36 x 24 inches
Signed; also signed, titled and dated on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1096_hillside_poppies_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Hillside Poppies
Oil on canvas
24 x 18 inches
Signed; also signed, titled and dated on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1095_into_the_evening_light_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Into the Evening Light
Oil on canvas
24 x 12 inches
Signed; also signed, titled and dated on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1093_early_fall_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Early Fall
Oil on canvasboard
18 x 27 inches
Signed; also signed and titled on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1092_mist_on_the_highlands_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Mist on the Highlands
Oil on canvasboard
12 x 20 inches
Signed; also signed and titled on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1091_au_printemps_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Au Printemps
Oil on canvasboard
21 x 14 inches
Signed; also signed and titled on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1087_the_haymakers_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
The Haymakers
Oil on canvasboard
18 x 27 inches
Signed; also signed, titled, and dated on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1086_wild_poppies_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Wild Poppies
Oil on canvasboard
22 x 30 inches
Signed; also signed and titled on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1085_june_roses_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
June Roses
Oil on canvasboard
16 x 12 inches
Signed; also signed and titled on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1084_sunlight_and_roses_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Sunlight and Roses
Oil on canvas
32 x 24 inches
Signed; also signed, titled and dated on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1082_june_rhododendrons_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
June Rhododendrons
Oil on canvas
44 x 40 inches
Signed; also signed and titled on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1081_august_sunshine_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
August Sunshine
Oil on canvasboard
14 x 14 inches
Signed; also signed, titled and dated on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1080_morning_bouquet_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Morning Bouquet
Oil on canvas on board
24 x 20 inches
Signed; also signed and titled on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1078_garden_of_roses_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Garden of Roses
Oil on canvas on board
8 x 16 inches
Signed; also signed and titled on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1076_along_the_peaceful_river_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Along the Peaceful River
Oil on canvas on board
14 x 20 inches
Signed; also signed and titled on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1079_daydreams_and_white_roses_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Daydreams and White Roses
Oil on canvas on board
14 x 16 inches
Signed; also signed and titled on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1061_andalusian_farmhouse_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Andalusian Farmhouse
Oil on canvas on board
14 x 18 inches
Signed; also signed and titled on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1072_a_cottage_garden_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
A Cottage Garden
Oil on canvas on board
16 x 12 inches
Signed; also signed and titled on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1073_may_blossoms_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
May Blossoms
Oil on canvas on board
8 x 16 inches
Signed; also signed and titled on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1074_a_riverside_cottage_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
A Riverside Cottage
Oil on canvas on board
12 x 24 inches
Signed; also signed and titled on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1075_the_poppy_field_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
The Poppy Field
Oil on canvas on board
24 x 20 inches
Signed; also signed and titled on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1066_april_skies_and_sunlit_hills_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
April Skies & Sunlit Hills
Oil on canvasboard
20 x 22 inches
Signed; also signed and inscribed Paris on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1065_along_the_peaceful_river_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Along the Peaceful River
Oil on canvas on board
12 x 16 inches
Signed; also signed and titled on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1071_spring_in_the_valley_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Spring in the Valley
Oil on canvasboard
12 x 18 inches
Signed; also signed and titled on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1046_october_skies_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
October Skies
Oil on board
12 x 16 inches
Signed; also signed and titled on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1070_early_spring_old_brittany_farm_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Early Spring, Old Brittany Farm
Oil on panel
14 x 20 inches
Signed; also signed and titled on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1069_a_golden_harvest_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
A Golden Harvest
Oil on panel
12 x 20 inches
Signed; also signed and titled on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1064_on_the_eve_of_sundown_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
On the Eve of Sundown
Oil on canvasboard
12 x 20 inches
Signed; also signed and titled on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1050_wildflowers_by_the_pasture_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Wildflowers by the Pasture
Oil on canvasboard
10 x 12 inches
Signed; also signed, titled and dated on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1058_evening_light_and_april_moon_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Evening Light and April Moon
Oil on panel
14 x 12 inches
Signed; also signed and titled on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1049_at_daybreak_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
At Daybreak
Oil on canvas
40 x 36 inches
Signed; also signed and titled on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1057_the_road_home_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
The Road Home
Oil on canvas
46 x 48 inches
Signed; also signed, dated, and titled on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1055_the_eventide_of_spring_comes_gently_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
The Eventide of Spring Comes Gently
Oil on canvas
58 x 62 inches
Signed; also signed, titled and dated on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1054_in_the_cherry_orchard_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
In the Cherry Orchard
Oil on canvasboard
24 x 20 inches
Signed; also signed and titled on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1052_young_shepherd_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Young Shepherd
Oil on canvasboard
18 x 12 inches
Signed; also signed and titled on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1053_the_herdsman_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
The Herdsman
Oil on canvas
20 x 20 inches
Signed; also signed, titled and dated on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1043_now_only_memories_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Now, Only Memories
Oil on canvas
14 x 11 inches
Signed; also signed and titled on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1047_time_moves_slowly_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Time Moves Slowly
Oil on canvasboard
14 x 10 inches
Signed; also signed, dated and titled on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1048_peaceful_morning_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Peaceful Morning
Oil on canvas
24 x 36 inches
Signed; also signed and titled on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1045_a_still_morning_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
A Still Morning
Oil on canvas
16 x 12 inches
Signed; also signed, titled and dated on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1042_old_newlyn_cottage_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Old Newlyn Cottage
Oil on canvasboard
16 x 12 inches
Signed; also signed, titled and dated on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1033_warm_days_of_summer_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Warm Days of Summer
Oil on canvasboard
16 x 12 inches
Signed; also signed, titled and dated on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1035_spring_blossoms_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Spring Blossoms
Oil on canvasboard
16 x 12 inches
Signed; also signed, titled and dated on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1039_wildflowers_on_the_rivers_edge_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Wildflowers on the River's Edge
Oil on canvas
30 x 20 inches
Signed; also signed, titled and dated on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1036_quiet_pastime_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
A Quiet Pastime
Oil on board
20 x 16 inches
Signed; also signed, titled and dated on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1037_sunflowers_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Sunflowers
Oil on canvas
20 x 20 inches
Signed; signed, titled and dated on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1031_autumn_along_the_river_wm_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Autumn Along the River
Oil on canvas on board
12 x 16 inches
Signed; also signed, titled and dated on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1030_when_dawn_breaks_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
When Dawn Breaks
Oil on canvasboard
14 x 11 inches
Signed; also signed and titled on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1027_the_golden_years_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
The Golden Years
Oil on canvas
20 x 24 inches
Signed
gregory_frank_harris_g1029_daydreams_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Daydreams
Oil on canvasboard
18 x 14 inches
Signed
gregory_frank_harris_g1028_a_moments_reverie_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
A Moments Reverie
Oil on canvasboard
12 x 9 inches
Signed
gregory_frank_harris_gh1000_a_bountiful_harvest_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
A Bountiful Harvest
Oil on canvas
36 x 36 inches
Signed
gregory_frank_harris_gh1206_the_village_pond_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
The Village Pond
Oil on canvas
14 x 18 inches
Signed
gregory_frank_harris_g1024_peaceful_hours_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Peaceful Hours
Oil on board
10 x 8 inches
Signed
gregory_frank_harris_g1022_when_the_storm_clears_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
When the Storm Clears
Oil on board
20 x 12 inches
Signed
gregory_frank_harris_g1025_sunbreak_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Sunbreak
Oil on board
18 x 24 inches
Signed
gregory_frank_harris_g1007_flora_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Flora
Oil on board
12 x 9 inches
Signed and dated '01
gregory_frank_harris_g1023_still_life_with_orchids_and_grueby_vase_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Still Life of Orchids and Grueby Vase
Oil on panel
14 x 18 inches
Signed; also signed, titled and dated on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_gh1203_sunlight_and_shadows_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Sunlight & Shadows
Oil on canvas
14 x 18 inches
Signed
gregory_frank_harris_gh1201_a_peaceful_time_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
A Peaceful Time
Oil on canvas
24 x 18 inches
Signed
gregory_frank_harris_g1010_lilacs_and_french_confit_jar_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Lilacs and French Confit Jar
Oil on canvas
16 x 20 inches
Signed
gregory_frank_harris_g1017_first_days_of_spring_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
First Days of Spring
Oil on panel
12 x 16 inches
Signed; also signed, titled and dated on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1015_clearing_skies_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Clearing Skies
Oil on board
12 x 12 inches
Signed; also signed, titled and dated on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1013_still_life_with_cantaloupe_and_peaches_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Still Life with Cantaloupe & Peaches
Oil on board
16 x 12 inches
Signed; also signed, titled and dated on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1012_still_life_with_raku_pot_and_peaches_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Still Life with Raku Pot and Peaches
Oil on board
12 x 20 inches
Signed; also signed, titled and dated on the reverse
gregory_frank_harris_g1005_still_life_with_lilacs_and_azaleas_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Still Life with Lilacs and Azaleas
Oil on canvas
14 x 18 inches
Signed
gregory_frank_harris_g1003_the_chinese_jar_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
The Chinese Jar
Oil on canvas
10 x 20 inches
Signed
gregory_frank_harris_g1000_tender_fields_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Tender Fields
Oil on canvas
20 x 18 inches
Signed
gregory_frank_harris_g1002_gladiolas_and_copper_small.jpg
Gregory Frank Harris
B. 1953
Gladiolas and Copper
Oil on canvas
14 x 18 inches
Signed and dated '01