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                                              updated 9/15/2016

2017 will see some major changes...

2017 will see some major changes at this site dedicated to the art of H Clay. See more on the News Updates page.


Welcome to the home of...

THE ART OF
H CLAY

2018 marks what would have been H Clay's 89th Birthday... Join us in a celebration of his life...

...at this site where you will be able to learn about an exceptional regional artist, be able to inquiry about his work, and even have the ability to share in what we call "Real Art for Real People".

Edward Hopper, John Singer Sargent, and Charles Burchfield are names easily recognized and respected in the art world. Today, an original of any of the mentioned artists would sell in the hundreds of thousands dollar range, or well above...

It was in these three artist's styles that H Clay first tested his talents. But just who is this artist? Where did he begin? And what is his legacy today?  


H Clay started life in rural Pennsylvania and he carried the memory of the hills and valleys of the northwestern part of that state with him for life. Born in the 20's, Harold L. Clay entered WWII military service after early graduation from Rocky Grove High School, a small community just outside Franklin, Pa.

Trained as an electronic repair sergeant, H. Clay continued to exercise his artistic gifts with cartoons and illustrated letters back home. It was after the war, with the GI Bill firmly in hand, that H Clay went after an education to refine his artistic talents.  

With a degree in art from the Pittsburgh Art Institute tucked in his portfolio, H Clay sought out a route often taken by unknown artists; the role of the illustrator. He moved to the Western New York Region and started work as a commercial artist in Buffalo, New York, in the burgeoning post-war advertising market place. 

However, dreams of a wife, a family, and a home led the aspiring artist to accept a position doing what he did during the war. In the very early 50's H Clay traded the paint and airbrush for the soldering iron. He re-entered the world of electronics at Bell Aircraft, just as the Korean and Cold Wars heated the defense industries red hot. It was not to be the end of his art...  

The 50's and 60's were the time for Pollock, Warhol, and others to break through into the mainstream of art. It was not the time to be a realist artist, however that is who H Clay was and would forever be. 

H Clay's works bordered on the ultra-realist edge without ever slipping fully into that mold. His early works, in particular his water colors, reflected the influence of Hopper. When working with oils, one could see the darkness of Burchfield’s Buffalo echoed in the tones and hues on the canvass. If there was a portrait to be painted, Sergeant's supreme hand was never far behind for guidance. But as the 50's faded, a new medium and a new way of looking at the world beckoned H. Clay 

An artist emerged in the 50's that stayed the course of realism. The late Andrew Weyth generated praise and scorn, and still does to this day, but it is how he painted and what he painted with that attracted H Clay's attention. 

 To learn more about regional artist H Clay, please browse the site and enjoy. Content will change, so stop back when you have a chance...