SIAG December Artist of the Month Gary Kunkelman

Gary works in oils and pastels in a variety of subject areas, including marine art, Low Country landscapes and portraits. In recent years he’s done numerous works for corporate clients, mainly maritime scenes from the Colonial, Revolutionary and Civil War eras.

As a studio painter he typically works on a painting— particularly detailed ship and historical works—over weeks or months, using layers of transparent glazes. Gary notes, “It’s not a fast way to paint, but the result is something I don’t get with a more direct approach.”

One of those detailed paintings now in the works is a large canvas for the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the American Battlefield Trust. Gary states, “It’s a Revolutionary War scene that actually took place on Seabrook. The British landed tens of thousands of troops here in 1780, beginning the Siege of Charleston and the war in the South. The painting’s from the vantage of the British on North Beach, with troops in the foreground and ships beyond. It’s a little-known piece of history.”

In addition to maritime and Low Country paintings, he plans to show a few “different things” at the December exhibit, including paintings of people.
Gary studied for nearly a decade with marine artist Jack Coggins and at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Following a career in journalism and advertising, he taught professional writing at Penn State. Over the next 21 years at Penn State, he also taught studio painting and American history. He and his wife Kathy moved to Seabrook full-time in 2014.

There will be reception for Gary on Thursday, December 1. We hope you will come out, talk with Gary and enjoy viewing his magnificent works of art.

You can also see his work at

-Submitted by Bonnie Younginer, Seabrook Island Artist Guild

(Image credit:Gary Kunkelman )