Larry Frazier, a local artist in Pace, won an award this summer for his near photorealistic acrylic painting entitled “Mallard Ducks.” The Korean War veteran received third place in the 2015 National Veterans Creative Art Competition.  The child of an artistic family also won a regional competition for an oil painting entitled “Great Snow Egret.”

Frazier said his art focused on birds and to a lesser extent, landscapes and flowers. Originally from Michigan, his paintings are often inspired by the flora and fauna of the Midwestern state. He said he frequently paints from photographs. “It’s hard to get a bird to hold still.”

He said seminars and classes from other 30 nationally known artists helped him along the way and his career, he said, has spanned almost 70 years. “My parents owned an art studio. They had guests and held classes (and) I sat in on all of these. I was taught by every major artist and their fathers, like Gary Jenkins.” He also noted his three siblings became professional artists.

By teaching and selling art, Frazier said he’s been able to live off his passion. “Usually, I’d sell six to seven at a festival. It was not abnormal to go to a dozen.” Before, his income also included commissioned pieces. Now, he said he’s happy to paint solely for his own pleasure and his own inspiration.  

From 1949 to 1951, Frazier served as a sergeant in Charlie company, first battalion, ninth infantry regiment, second infantry division during the Korean War. He said his experience influenced his art but in a way he can’t readily identify. However, he does plan to write a book of his wartime experience, though he wants to keep his art and writing separate.

The former member of the Santa Rosa Art Association and DragonflyArtGallery said he donates one of his pieces to any nonprofit or charitable organization requesting one. Most, Frazier said, go to auction to raise money to assist their causes.