(Left: Gary McPherson. Right: Canyon Creek Meadows, oil, 24×36 by Gary McPherson)
Gary was born in a small Michigan town surrounded by relatives, friends and lots of nature. As a youngster he helped out on his relatives’ farms or his father’s carpentry business, while being acutely attracted to the beauty of nature. He especially loved watching the spring trees come alive with their various shades of greens as well as doing close-up observation of birds, their nests, eggs and habits — in short, loving nature.
At an early age, Gary started to really enjoy sketching and drawing. One of his fondest memories was taking a smooth cardboard from his father’s laundered white shirts and drawing the portraits of the “Breck Women” published on the back of his step-mother’s Better Homes and Gardens magazines.
On his 18th birthday he was given an acrylic Paint-by Numbers set. He disliked the blocky constraints of that format, so he used the set to begin creating his own paintings.
He later went into military service, married, started a family, worked in the computer field and when time and finances permitted, continued to follow his love of art by painting and drawing.
Only after years passed and circumstances changed, including a divorce, a move to California, and a career as a Registered Nurse, did he find more time to devote to serious painting.
After moving to Paradise, California and marrying his wife Joyce, Gary began to show and sell his work. He was a member of the Paradise Art Guild, and his art was displayed in various businesses, city offices and venues in the area, as well as in the Bay Area. He was the featured artist in the annual Paradise Chocolate Fest, as well as contributing his art in auctions and charity events. His studio was surrounded by his paintings, drawings of landscapes, sketches, pencil drawings and prints of commissioned portrait work.
On November 8, 2018, his art studio, home — and almost the entire town of Paradise — was destroyed by the Camp Fire. Even though much of his local art was destroyed, some paintings located outside of Paradise remained and he knew he would continue his work somewhere else.
Gary and his wife had for many years come to Bend during the summer, and had fallen in love with the beauty here — they knew fairly quickly that Central Oregon was where they would like to relocate. They are now acquainting themselves even more with the magnificent natural surroundings which Gary is attempting to capture on canvas. Although oil is his primary medium, painting in watercolor runs a close second. If you meet him, or see his work, you may also see some of his hand-crafted wooden pens in his pocket — ask him to show you his portfolio of pens. Art runs deep in Gary’s veins.
In August Gary will be showing his work as Artist of the Month at Ida’s Cupcake Café, located at 445 SW Sixth Street in Redmond. Some of his work is also available to be seen at Ken Scott’s Imagination Gallery in Sisters.