Summary

Born in Joplin, Missouri, the artist demonstrated impressive drawing abilities at an early age. As a young adult he pursued a path of spiritual growth and service that took him to Colorado, California and Texas. Even without formal education his artistic skills were in constant demand. After starting a family, he moved back to his home state and was offered a position as illustrator at a Kansas City design studio based on his portfolio alone. In this role he designed and illustrated several NCAA Final Four Logos. He later joined Hallmark Cards where his expertise was character illustration for Disney, Warner Bros. and Peanuts.

Wanting to get back the joy of creating that he remembered from childhood, Larry began painting for himself. He found inspiration in the Impressionists, the Hudson River School and the California Plein Air Painters. Along with studio painting he is committed to painting "en plein air" which he finds both a fast track for creative growth and a good excuse to be outdoors. He loves the challenge of finding strong compositions and capturing the sense of light and atmosphere unique to each place.

In the last several years Larry has won many regional and national awards for his oil landscapes. In 2011 he made the decision to leave a secure job in order to pursue painting full time. His recent work reflects the growth that comes from painting nearly every day.

Work History

Work History
Apr 2011 - Present

Owner

Larry DeGraff Fine Art

I'm primarily a painter of oil landscapes but also paint still lifes and figurative work. My landscapes are painted about 50% from life and 50% in the studio based on sketches and photos. I am currently represented by Leawood Fine Arts Gallery in Leawood, KS. I also market my work through plein air competitions around the country and also online via my website, blog and social media.

Apr 1996 - Apr 2011

Artist IV

Hallmark Cards Inc.

I worked in Licensing Design as a hybrid illustrator/designer creating greeting cards from concept to production and also concepting for keepsake ornaments as well as other gifts and plush characters.

Sep 1994 - Apr 1996

Master Artist

Artex Sportswear

I illustrated caricatures of celebrity athletes and licensed characters for sports apparel. I also did high end 8 and 9 color digital separations.

Education

Education
Aug 1988 - Jun 1989

Continuing Education

Kansas City Art Institute

Took courses on oil painting from life and commercial illustration.