|Gary Rainwater lives with his wife Barbara in Port Townsend, WA and is a lifelong self-taught artist whose preferred materials include oils, ceramics, and wood. A man who's always done things his own way, Gary took one art class in high school, but the teacher wasn't teaching what he wanted to learn so he never took another.
During a 22-year career as a firefighter in the city of Los Angeles, handling everything from rescue ambulance to fireboats, Gary was a member of the California Woodcarver's Guild, displaying his work at many shows and winning a prize at the state level.
"I'm just getting back into painting after a 30-year vacation," he says.
Gary's fascination and interest for the sea came early in his life as he travelled summer vacations with the family. His relationship with boats began in 1956 when he salvaged and restored a cabin cruiser. He also built three catamarans, restored a turn-of-the-century 104' Danish cargo ship, then bought and restored the vessel he and Barbara still own: S.V. LADYHAWK, a Danish fishing boat. He and Barbara spent many years cruising Lady Hawk, visiting many countries, with Europe being the most memorable. The Rainwater’s lived aboard boats for 32 years and raised two seaworthy daughters. Everywhere aboard LADYHAWK is ample evidence of Gary's artistic eye, in wood carvings, built-in cabinetry, etched glass, and other decoration.
Everything Gary does is crafted with characteristic forethought, care, and an artist's eye. When he and Barbara decided to settle ashore, they built Dragonfly Cottage, a small but spectacularly unique storybook house surrounded by Barbara's English cottage garden. Gary calls their Port Townsend home, featured in Cottage
Living magazine and on HGTV, "the oldest new house in town."
A master at scrounging secondhand materials for his boats and home over the years, Gary frames most of his paintings himself. "I use whatever I can get my hands on," he says, "from barn siding to scrap molding."
His utmost respect for all nature comes through all he creates. Drawing inspiration from life, photographs, and any other source that strikes a resonant note, Gary likes to work big and bold, exploring images on four-foot canvases and discovering the secrets hidden in wood grain.