Gary was born to Phil and Louise Carter in Hutchinson, Kansas on March 12,1939. The family moved to Southern California when he was a small child, for employment. Disney Studios employed Gary’s father, as an illustrator and at the young age of 6 Gary would draw the funnies while sitting on his fathers knee. Gary’s teachers in a junior college told him he was too serious about art, and he should apply to Art Center College of Design in LA, which he did and was accepted. In 1971 Gary graduated with honors and became an in-house illustrator of art, prints and posters for a California design studio. All this happened after a stint in the army after high school.
In 1975 Gary was invited to come to Montana and live and paint art, prints and posters on the Sun Ranch in the Madison Valley. He was their resident artist and still maintains a close relationship with the present owners; Roger and Cindy Lang. Gary met his wife Marlys who lived about 60 miles from sun ranch in 1976 and moved into West Yellowstone. Gary and Marlys along with their two kids, Jeff and Suzanne built a home on Hebgen Lake in 1977 where they still reside. Their home is just a few miles from the Sun Ranch where Gary gained an intensive education and precious insight into the world of the cowboy. Even today he helps friends with roundups. Gary collects western books and artifacts, but is a man with wide ranging passions. Fly-fishing, street rodding and building model railroads are but a few of his interests.
In 1980 Gary and his brother jack started the Gary Carter print company and to date there are about 80 art, prints and posters released. In 1982 Gary was accepted as a member of the Cowboy Artists of America, the most prestigious organization for western art in the world. There are usually between 23 and 29 members. The CA’s as they are called are known not only for their beautiful work but also for the accuracy and knowledge of the west. Gary functioned as president of the organization in 1986. Gary paints the contemporary and historic American West from Mountain Men to Indians, and today’s cowboys. He also includes some of his favorite subjects like grizzly bears and elk. He has a great sense of humor and loves to portray animals gaining the upper hand. In June 1991, Gary was adopted by the Real Bird Family, and the crow tribe, and welcomed into the Big Lodge Clan. Gary’s Indian name is Eagle Man. Each year Gary’s Indian brothers put on a reenactment of Custer’s Last Stand. Of course it’s the Indian version done on there own land at medicine tail coulee, the only privately owned land at Custer’s battlefield. Gary usually attends and develops some great ideas for paintings by doing the reenactment.