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Gary Rainwater ~ Oil Painter and Woodcarver

Gary Rainwater is a self-taught, lifelong artist whose  preferred materials include oils, ceramics and wood. A man who has always done things in 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 for the City of Los Angeles, Gary remained a member of the California Woodcarver's Guild, displaying his art at many shows and winning a prize at the state level. 

Gary's lifelong relationship with boats began in 1956 when he salvaged and restored an old cabin cruiser. He also built three catamarans, restored a turn-of-the-century sailing cargo ship, then bought a Danish fishing vessel, SV Ladyhawke, the vessel that he and his wife, Barbara, still own. The Rainwaters lived aboard boats for 32 years and raised two seaworthy daughters. Everywhere aboard Ladyhawke is ample evidence of Gary's artistic eye in woodcarvings, built-in cabinetry, and decorations. 

Everything Gary does is done with characteristic forethought, care, and an artist's eye. A master at scavenging secondhand materials for his boats and home, Gary says "I use whatever I can get my hands on, from barn siding to scrap molding." Drawing inspiration from life, photographs, and any other source that strikes a resonant note, Gary likes to work big and bold, exploring images on board and canvas, and discovering the secrets hidden in wood grain.