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“I started painting and drawing as a little kid and it has dominated my life ever since.” - Larry Heald.

“Larry” passed away quietly and peacefully in the early hours of October 1st with his loving wife, Dana, and his faithful furry friend, Emme, at his side. He lived as he died: a man of great dignity, wisdom, kindness, and talent. Always a soft-spoken man, 10 years of living with Alzheimer’s eventually robbed Larry of his wisdom and talent, but he maintained his dignity and sweet nature to the very end. However, it is the legacy of his talent as a most gifted and extremely hard-working painter that will live on throughout the ages.

Larry was born and raised in Port Huron, Michigan but fled the straight-laced Midwest to join his brother, artist W. Paul Heald, in Seattle, and to attend the University of Washington. He received his B.A cum laude in 1963 and his MFA the following year. He was the first student in the history of the UW’s art department to receive his MFA in only one year and the first to receive unanimous faculty approval of this master’s thesis. He also was the recipient of a National Scholarship Award to study at the Yale University Summer School of Music and Art in 1962.

In the early ‘70s, along with sculptor Lawrence Beck, Larry co-directed the Fidalgo Art Institute in La Conner where he taught painting.

He also taught at Penn State and Western Washington, but realized teaching wasn’t for him.

For the last 50 years of his career Larry painted full time in the Bay Area, in Skagit Valley, in the hill country of No. California, and then returned to the Skagit in 2004.

Though the critics didn’t always like Larry’s subject matter, they highly praised him always as a master of his medium.

They loved what he could do with a paint brush! Throughout his career, Larry changed with the changing times, from his early years as an abstract expressionist through his surrealistic period and eventually to creating the most beautiful landscapes imaginable.

His work was shown and hangs in many corporate, private, and museum collections around the world including Seattle Art Museum, Museum of NW Art, Chicago Art Institute, San Francisco Art Institute, de Young Museum of San Francisco, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and the Smithsonian.

Larry, his brother Paul, and their oldest brother Maurie (also of Seattle), were all three successful professional artists their entire lives. Larry and Paul especially shared an extraordinary lifelong bond, not just as brothers, but as fellow painters, mentors, and best friends. Maurie passed away in 1996 and Paul passed in 2014, but The Brothers Heald were fixtures of the Northwest art scene for many decades and were admired, by all who knew them and their work, as truly remarkable men.

Larry is survived by his wife of 37 years, Dana; their daughter, Sierra Heald Beckers, her husband Chris, and Larry’s infant grandson, Simon Beckers of Chicago. He is also survived by his cousins Charles and Laurel Angus of Spring Lake, MI; Hester Angus of Seattle; and Kate Angus of NYC.

A Celebration of Life is planned for Saturday, November 9 from 2-4 p.m. at Skagit City Studio and Gardens, 18598 Skagit City Rd. This is out in the farm lands and parking is in a field adjoining the property. Please wear appropriate shoes or boots. Also, be warned there is a full flight of stairs within the venue. There are some places to sit downstairs. If you have questions contact Dana at [email protected].


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