While born in New York, Gary Gowans thankfully grew up in South Florida. That is where the opportunity to sail led to a lifetime vocation. After living in Texas, Missouri and California, he settled in Charlestown, South Carolina for almost twenty years. Gary now lives in New Bern, North Carolina, one block from the Neuse and Trent Rivers and his grandchildren. He continues to enjoy both sailing and painting. His current work almost always includes water and the effect of light on that water.
Gary began his formal art training after serving as an Air Force pilot during the Vietnam War. He is a graduate of Florida State University and following graduation from Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, he enjoyed a three month tour of Europe on an old BMW motorcycle. Gowans has worked as Art Director and Illustrator for the St. Petersburg Times and several major advertising agencies. His career as an illustrator has led to many interesting freelance assignments including The Wall Street Journal, Cruising World Magazine, Sailing World Magazine and assignments for Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association.
His artwork can be seen at the Wells Gallery in Charleston and on Kiawah Island, SC, the Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport Museum, Mystic, CT and Annapolis Marine Art, Annapolis, MD.
Gowans, who disdains flowery rhetoric and enters very few competitions, has won Best of Show in Charleston Art Guild shows, was published in the New York Art Directors 64th Annual Show, is an exhibiting member of the American Society of Marine Artists, has been juried into several exhibitions at the Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport International, and in 2012 & 2015 he won the Maritime Gallery Yachting Award, where he has also participated other exhibitions.