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Painter

Ray Gamradt

Palmer, Alaska

About Ray

Born and raised in Montana, I spent the first quarter century of my life behaving properly. Then I moved to Alaska to wander beyond the edge of my map.

I came to understand that there are places in Alaska where I could stand on the side of the road and orient in a direction that I could walk 300, 400, 500 miles without encountering civilization. Such awareness contributed to a restlessness that would ultimately triumph over my job as structural engineer.

In this northern life of mine I embark upon big and little adventures way back into the heart of things. That is where so many of my art pieces are born, but I’m finding that it’s not as simple as replicating a scene. I’ve stood on that gnarled peak, impossibly deep in the wildest mountains, rotating fully around in awed silence of one hundred visible square miles of tundra and rock and ice. And though I have the impulse to share such an experience through a painting – to capture it, distill it, reduce it to some careful strokes on a canvas – I know there isn’t a wall in the world big enough for the task.

Similarly, I encounter wildlife in the most sublime circumstances. The caribou thousands, the charging bears, the hollow scrape of a bull moose pushing through the alders. But as with the infinite landscape, it’s rarely the marquis, sexy encounter that I try to reconstruct. I have yet to create the piece of artwork that stalls my breath like a grizzly pausing beside my tent in a black-of-night snowstorm.

Instead, I am drawn to the quiet, forgotten scenes that hint at the adventure beyond.

What is proving to be a consistent theme in my life is the desire I have to share these extraordinary experiences with others. So I will at times strive for my art to convey the moment – a task that yields enthusiastic failures and sporadic successes. Or my desire to share the wildness may instead appear in the form of yet another sincere invitation to a friend who needs to come breathe that expansive air as much as me.

If you’re reading this bio it’s probably because you’ve come upon my work.

If, on the other hand, your legs hurt and your eyes feel bright, you may have accepted my pleading call: lace up your danged boots and let’s go climb that mountain...

Art Gallery Location

Charleston Place
205 Meeting Street
Charleston, SC 29401 United States

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