Gary Bowling

My wife, Linda, and I live in Lamar, Missouri where I maintain my primary studio and spend most of my time. My paintings are shown by about a dozen art dealers in the east and Midwest.

I was born and grew up in Lamar, Missouri. When I began college, I intended to pursue a degree in architectural engineering, I soon found myself more interested in the visual arts. After earning a Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Arkansas in 1974, I took an art teaching position at Westmar College where I was Chairman of the Art Department for about nine years.

While my MFA is in painting and drawing, much of my graduate research dealt with conceptual art and, in particular, the mechanisms artists might use to connect with the art viewer. My artistic interests changed dramatically over the nine years I taught at Westmar. Possibly because I found myself spending so much time in a basement office, my paintings evolved into an exploration of light and atmosphere and ideas associated with the landscape. I became particularly interested in the landscape as experienced from the highway, and features that suggested a demarcation between public and private space.

I took a sabbatical leave from Westmar in 1981. During that time I had the good fortune to spend the Fall at Yaddo, an artist’s colony in Saratoga Springs, New York. My work there helped me focus and clarify my interests in landscape painting. I quit teaching in 1983 in order to concentrate on painting full time. That is when we moved back to Lamar, Missouri where we continue to live. (My wife, Linda, quit her job as an elementary art teacher a year earlier to organize and manage the business aspects associated with my art. She is now an elementary art teacher in Lamar.)