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Harry Orlyk

Harry Orlyk (1947) is originally from Troy New York. After graduating from The State University of New York at New Paltz (1970), he attended graduate school at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln (1974) . Over the next nine years he was influenced by several Nebraskan artists. “Still-life painter Robin Smith taught me how to use paint without turpentine – to paint from the tube.” He also admits the influence of photographer Lawrence McFarland who taught him what spiritual space was, and how to emphasize it. Lastly he credits well-known Lincoln painter, Keith Jacobshagen, with having impressed on him the importance of routine. He currently resides with his family in Salem, New York, near the Vermont border.

“ Twenty Seven Years ago I set out to paint ten thousand, on-site landscape paintings. To achieve this I adopted a daily habit of morning preparations and afternoon painting sorties into surrounding land. After a dozen years of this I realized how my painting expressed more of the relationship a human has with the land and less about what products the land produces.”

“My painting, sketching, and drawing, go on month after month, season after season, through storms and bitter weather. In this, a spiral has pulled me through time as it has pulled farmers and hunters through the centuries. I am the hunter, always seeking the right place. I am the farmer, aware of the weather and plant and animal life. It is the process, the relationship to cycles in the world that interests me more than the products, more than nicely framed paintings. Beyond th is, I hope my painting can be seen as portraits of days. Each day a model who won’t return tomorrow.”

“With long practice an artist can learn to begin a painting nearly every day and a visual journal unfolds that can blow our socks off one at a time. This journal points to change, continuity, flow, process, It is in this, perhaps, that I am a more conceptual artist rather than a landscape painter.” –- Harry Orlyk

• 1974 Woods Fellowship
• 1995 Guggenheim Fellowship


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