With several parks scattered throughout the Bell County area, wildlife is all around us. Ray Harm Jr. captures flora and fauna in the area in his artwork.
Harm began painting as a teenager and graduated from Henderson Settlement High School. He attended the Cooper School of Art in Cleveland, Ohio and continued to learn techniques from his father Ray Harm Sr.
While moving around different regions in Kentucky with his father, Harm practiced artwork in many different areas including Burnside, Berea and Somerset to do art studies on specific types and species of animals.
Harm appreciates the many beneficial things from the world of art his father instilled in him. As his teacher, Harm remembers traveling around and studying his father’s work for inspiration or tips on how to improve.
“What Dad always taught me was to have a foundation and then. you know — you work out from there, but you really need a base before you can get bigger and better. He taught me about wildlife and I saw his stuff so much that I got my interest in that from him,” said Harm.
Harm was raised in Bell County and served as a park ranger at Pine Mountain State Resort Park from 1984 until 2004. Now many of his artworks can be found hanging in the park’s buildings like the commemorative print he created for the 19th anniversary of the park.
Part of Harm’s most important and favorite work are pieces featuring birds exactly how they appear in nature.
“I really like my little screech owl and the Eagle. They’re anatomically correct and I like them the best — well, so far. Even if you haven’t seen them out, you can know just what the birds look like,”said Harm.
If stick figures are more artwork than you can manage, Harm has a few words of advice for you.
“I think everybody is an artist, but it’s just how successful you are. That’s about the public and what they like, what they want to see, so people should just really draw for their own enjoyment, and that’s about whatever makes you happy,” said Harm.
Reach Kelsey Gerhardt at 606-302-9093 or on Twitter @kgerhardtmbdn.