Air Art Northwest
846 South Ginger Street
Cornelius, Oregon 97113
In the annals of American aviation art, Harley Copic ranks as one of the
true pioneers of the genre. This veteran artist has been at it longer than
some of todays aviation artists have been alive. But despite prestigious
awards and stunning paintings and prints that hang in museums, private
collections and in the Pentagon, many collectors are still are unfamiliar
with his work.
This unassuming master artist has never sought recognition - just the satisfaction of quietly creating the best aeronautical compositions possible. He has never been marketed by a major art publisher; never, in fact, quit his job as a graphic artist with a midwest newspaper. Nor has he taken formal training in, or studied, the fine arts. In short, he researches and paints historic aviation scenes for the sheer love of it.
Harley began aeronautical painting in the late 1960's, before there was a developed market for aviation fine art, studying the works of model box-top artists. In 1971, he was invited to join the U.S. Air Force Art Program. As part of his research, he flew in a variety of Air Force aircraft. In 1972, he went on a research tour of bases in Southeast Asia. This lead to one of his favorite - and better-known - paintings, "Thunder Over The Red River", a tribute to the F-105 Thunderchief and the men who flew it.
Other favorite subjects include the P-47 Thunderbolt, with paintings such as "Bud's Jug" and "Final Mission" that commemorate great Thunderbolt pilots of the 56th Fighter Group in World War II. He is perhaps best known for his stunning renditions of the P-51 Mustang fighter. His best Mustang paintings include: "Godfrey and Gentile", "Cripes'A Mighty 3rd", "Yeager" and, more recently, "Return To Leiston", which pays homage to the great Mustang ace "Bud" Anderson.
Air Art Northwest is pleased and proud to represent this trailblazing fine artist, whose stylistic influence can be seen in the work of some of today's promising young talent. As with good wine, some things grow better with age; and that would certainly be true of the artistry of Harley Copic.