David Harms – Nearly Spring – , 24 x 30
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David was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas and after a family move he graduated from Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins, Colorado. He went on to attend Colorado State University. Since he’s a long time professional musician and actor, it only seemed natural to try his hand at painting too. So in 1996 he started oil painting, having no real ambition about art or painting. He simply felt a strong desire to give it a shot. David began by cutting out photos from magazines of every subject motif that looked interesting and then replicating them in oil paint. As a result, he quickly gained a number of commissions producing Thomas Kincade inspired knockoffs and dog portraits especially. In a short time however, David became aware of the fact that if he wanted to become a professional fine artist, he would need to focus on a specific genre. It was then that a chance encounter with the exceptional landscape painter Michael Lynch would change everything!
From the start, Mr. Lynch encouraged David to get outside and paint from life so in 1999 David painted his first plein air picture. He was instantly hooked! “Michael was so encouraging, accommodating and genuine to me. I was immediately floored by his paintings and given the fact he gave me the time and guidance I needed speaks volumes about the man himself. He’s a colossal inspiration and a giant influence. I credit Michael, members of the Plein Air Painters of America(PAPA), especially George Strickland in my development as an artist. John David Phillips and Jeff Legg also gets extra-special consideration!” David was now focused and he was determined. “I want to do that!” So began David’s journey as a professional landscape painter. Another thing that David wants to stress is the fact that from the outset he sought strong, frank critique of his work from many of these established and successful artists. “I realized I had such a long way to go( still do obviously) and a short time to get there( sheesh I was already in my 40’s) so it would’ve been foolhardy to not accept and absorb all that these guys had to say and demonstrate. I’ll be eternally grateful to them!”
In 2001, David’s work was accepted into the top 100 of the prestigious Arts for the Parks competition in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and has been showing his paintings in fine art galleries since 2003. He was featured in the February 2004 Southwest Art Magazine’s “Artists to Watch” column and also in their February 2009 and February 2013 Landscape issues. And in 2006 David was made an artist member of the Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters and has received multiple plein air painting, gallery and salon show awards. He’s also a member of the Oil Painters of America. David has no real philosophy about painting or his technical approach. He simply finds it thrilling and he gives his all to his art. “I simply love to paint and I’m devoted to improving with each piece. Chasing down the great artists, past and present, is a true passion. It never ends and I love it!”