Gary Close remembers drawing at age five, painting in tempera at ten and in oils at seventeen. He has always worked to convey what he terms a “deeper realism” which he perceives in the world. That quest has taken him from the mountains of Haiti to the rolling hills of Virginia to the liquid beauty of the Chesapeake and the jagged coast of Penobscot Bay in Maine. Those that appreciate his straightforward style of painting and the philosophy behind it range in geography from Brussels to Massachusetts, from New York to North Carolina and of course in all regions of Virginia.
His subjects are varied but primarily he paints landscapes or marine subjects. Usually, he uses a combination of plein air and studio in which to work. Canvas/linen and board are his substrate materials, and he works in oils almost exclusively. “I like the classic quality of an oil painting,” he explained for his usage of the sometimes-difficult medium. “There is,” he said, “often a transparency in the paint that lends to the richness of the work.”
His first art show was in college at the University of Virginia-Wise. Since then, he has exhibited at various venues in Culpeper and at the General Assembly Building in Richmond. In 2002 he was invited to exhibit at the Embassy of Lithuania in Washington, D.C. Two of his paintings are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Culpeper.
Currently Close lives in Orange County. He is an avid sailor. When he is not painting or sailing, he walks the battlefields of the Civil War with his companion, Super Dog Sandy, a yellow lab.
He is married and the father of two children.
“Every building, mountain, field, or person has a spiritual center…a unique message about the fabric of our universe. I try to convey that message through oil and canvas. I don’t strive for photo realism, but rather for a deeper realism.” – Gary Close 2004