A revered Kentucky wildlife artist has created two new works with prints that go on sale this week for charity. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer has more.
In the 1960s, Ray Harm was one of the first artists to create paintings and sell a limited number of prints from them. Back then, his wildlife lithographs sold for hundreds of dollars, while today some prints have sold for more than $5,000.
Now 82, Harm seldom paints these days, but he created two new works for Louisville Easter Seals’ Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Center. Five hundred prints of each have been made to sell.
Harm’s new works include a cardinal on a sunflower and a white-tailed buck deer he once saw in Mammoth Cave National Park.
“I was painting wildflowers and this big, old buck deer walked into the clearing,” Harm says. “And he just stood there looking at me, and it gave me an opportunity to do a pretty decent drawing of him.”
Harm also wrote columns for The Louisville Times that were published later as “The Ray Harm Nature Sketchbook.” He says he creates his paintings from sketches he creates in the wild and from studying all kinds of wildlife.
“I’ve studied taxonomy, the classifications of animals, how many scales of they have on this bird or whatever,
he says, “so accuracy is one of my fortes.”
Harm is a critic of artists who paint from photos and use digital media to enhance their work.