Hawai‘i has definitely inspired Garry Palm in his paintings. He and his wife moved to O‘ahu in 1987 and ever since, Garry’s exacting watercolor style has been making an impression on kama‘āina and malihini alike. The beauty of bright tropical florals and beautiful nostalgic pin-up girls have a universal appeal that never goes out of style. Most of his recent works have been local flowers and familiar places around Hawai‘i Island, where he and his family moved in 2011.
Garry’s distinctive watercolor style seems to draw attention into the depths of his paintings, letting you explore every detail. From his studio in Kapoho, Garry builds his paintings layer by layer, taking 30 to 40 hours to complete most pieces. His attention to detail also works well with another subject—portraits and pin-up girls—which he calls his “Palm Girl” collection.
From looking at his work, you wouldn’t guess that Garry was born in Minnesota. In 1985, Garry married his high school sweetheart, Cynthia. They honeymooned in Hawai‘i where they both fell in love with the vibrant colors of the islands—and came back for good in 1987. Garry, already accomplished in oils and acrylics, focused his artistic expertise on watercolor. He continues to create glowing, translucent watercolors of the island’s most loved blossoms: plumeria, bougainvillea, hibiscus, bird of paradise, and more. Usually working from a photograph, Garry says he prides himself on capturing the subject’s personality, putting it on paper, and holding it there to cherish forever.
In addition to having his work in galleries on Hawai‘i Island, Maui and O‘ahu, Garry also has his paintings in many private and corporate collections around the world, including Kapi‘olani Medical Center, Absolut Vodka, Hawai‘i Carpenter’s Union, The Hawai‘i State Foundation for Culture and Arts, Outrigger Hotels, Ilikai Hotel, Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Company, and GTE Hawaiian Tel. Garry’s paintings have been purchased by people from all over the world. His work is shown in a number of galleries all over the islands, and has received multiple awards, including Best of Show, in juried competitive exhibitions.
Despite his notable success and growing notoriety, Garry says, “My proudest accomplishment is just having the opportunity to be a full-time artist and doing what I love to do.” He is also a proud father of two, and enjoys golfing in the little spare time he has. Garry is always available for commissions and private showings of his current works. He is also teaching his style to beginners and experts alike at One Gallery in Hilo, and is available for private groups or one-on-one teaching.