Gary King started painting in college but set it aside for years to raise a family.
He started out as an architectural draftsman then moved into construction in the 1970s, but his artistic eye never wandered too far from the world of creativity.
"My parents never pegged me for an artist because I was a bit of a (wild) kid," King said. "And I never took an art class until about 10 years ago."
A free exhibition of his interpretive watercolors will be on display from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 25 at Bookwalter Winery in Richland.
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Most of his work features tranquil scenes of Southeastern Washington landscapes -- vineyards, grain elevators in the midst of wheat fields, and inviting, tree-lined country roads.
"My wife (Linda) and I love Eastern Washington, which is why I like to paint the landscapes from here," he said. "I love the canyons and vineyards because they're all so different. And, of course, our daughter lives here, so we come here quite a bit."
Anna King, a correspondent for Northwest News Network and former Herald reporter, has a bounty of her father's work hanging in her Tri-City area home. "My father has done some beautiful large paintings of Champoux Vineyards, the Yakima Valley and Red Mountain vineyard, which will all be at the showing," she said.
Gary King, who lives in Roy, a small town south of Tacoma, first discovered his love of art through mechanical drawing while in junior high.
"It was an awakening of sorts," he said. "I told myself, 'I can do this.' "
But it was the watercolors that always sparked his passion. "I was busy raising a family and trying to make a living all those years ago, and just didn't have the time for art," he said. "I'm making up for it now.
"I've always preferred the fresh interpretive look of watercolors and have never wanted my paintings to look as real as a photo."
The exhibition is part of the Catch the Crush festival, which wineries all over the Mid-Columbia are celebrating.
*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; firstname.lastname@example.org