Behind the Artist: Guy Harvey

Guy Harvey has spent his life studying and exploring the sea. Through his artistic vision, he shares that passion with the world.

Harvey was born in 1955 in Bad Lippspringe, Germany while his father served in the British Army. However, Harvey and his family immigrated to Jamaica shortly after, making him a 10th generation Jamaican of English heritage. Living on the island fueled Harvey’s passion for the ocean and its inhabitants. Harvey graduated with honors in marine biology from Aberdeen University in Scotland in 1977 and earned a doctorate from the University of the West Indies in 1982 in fisheries management and fish biology.

It wasn’t until 1985, when he created pen-and-ink drawings based on Ernest Hemingway’s “Old Man and the Sea,” that Harvey discovered a love for art. Since then, Harvey has become one of the most renowned marine wildlife artists in the world, bringing his unique insight as an artist, scientist, conservationist, diver, and angler to the forefront.

Whether through his artistic vision or the educational efforts of his research organizations, Harvey’s ultimate goal is to emphasize the importance of conserving marine wildlife and their habitats.

Below are three details highlighting the talents of multi-faceted artist Guy Harvey.


Science-Inspired Art

Mother’s Touch” (2015), Guy Harvey

Harvey is a professional fishery scientist and marine biologist. When conducting his research in the ‘70s and ‘80s, the need to accurately depict what he was studying was paramount to his work.

Aside from photography, Harvey’s main source of documentation was in the form of pen-and-ink drawings. He used techniques known as stippling—creating an image using numerous small dots and specks—and cross-hatching, which is shading a drawing using intersecting lines.

Harvey expanded his repertoire to watercolors, oil, and acrylic so he could produce larger images faster and in color. By merging both his studies of marine wildlife and creative studios, Harvey earned a reputation for depicting animals in dynamic poses and with incredible accuracy.

“Science really helps in your understanding of portraying the anatomy, the physiology of the animal and the ecology of the animal,” Harvey says.


Painting the Marlin

Sunset Blue 2015 Guy Harvey Park West Gallery

Sunset Blue” (2015), Guy Harvey

While Harvey’s interest in marine life can be traced back to his family fishing for marlins in Jamaica—including catching his first one in 1973—he admits that reading Hemingway’s novel, “The Old Man and the Sea,” was a defining moment in his career.

Inspired by the adventures of Santiago struggling against a marlin, Harvey created 44 pen-and-ink images depicting scenes from the book. Harvey attributes the marlin’s combination of size, speed, and beauty for making it one of his favorite marine animals to portray.

In 2014, Harvey was selected to paint the hull of the Norwegian Escape cruise ship. True to his origins, the artist chose to feature the marlin as the main image on the 1,069-foot hull. He considers the process of painting the hull “the greatest artistic achievement I’ve ever had” and “one of the most moving experiences of my life.”

Research and Awards

Guy Harvey Park West Gallery

Guy Harvey diving with a mako shark (Photo courtesy of Greg Jacoski)

Not only does Harvey use his art to bring awareness and funding to ocean conservation efforts, he also actively strives to save the animals and environments he depicts in his artwork.

Harvey formed the Guy Harvey Research Institute in 1999 at the Nova Southeastern University in Florida. The institute has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers, which have led to a better understanding of ocean life. The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, formed in 2008, funds scientific research and education initiatives to ensure that marine wildlife and their ecosystems continue to flourish.

Harvey’s long list of awards is a testament to his accomplishments in the fields of art and science. Among them are the NOGI Award given in 2004 by the diving industry, the Artists for Conservation Simon Combes Conservation Award in 2011, the Distinguished Artist Award from the Florida House on Capitol Hill in 2013, and the Golden Compass Award in 2016 from Seafarers’ House International.

For information on how to collect the art of Guy Harvey, contact our gallery consultants at (800) 521-9654 ext. 4 during business hours or



One Response to Behind the Artist: Guy Harvey

  1. Brittany Lafleur says:

    Guy Harvey has always been an influence to me and my artistic capabilities!!!! His work is so beautiful and enlightening.

Leave a comment

Prove you\'re human. *

Latest News

  • 5 Tips on How to Overcome Creative Block From Professional Artists

    Creative block can strike at any time, stifling your inspiration and grinding your productivity to a halt. It’s something anyone who has tackled a creative project has experienced at one ...
    Read More
  • Meet the Artist: 10 Questions with England’s Clare Sykes

    Clare Sykes knows a thing or two about beauty.This astoundingly accomplished English artist is an expert when it comes to capturing the majesty of the natural world on canvas. ...
    Read More
  • These 12 Works of Art Will Help You Beat the Summer Heat

    Let’s face it, as much as we all yearned for warmer weather during this past winter and spring, this summer has been a hot one.If you feel as if ...
    Read More
  • Pablo Picasso: How One Spanish Artist Changed Art Forever [VIDEO]

      Why does everyone know ...
    Read More
  • Beating the Odds: Foster Care Support Programs Are Helping Youth Succeed at College

    Antwinae McNeil didn’t have a typical upbringing. Whereas most teens hang out with their friends or enjoying family meals, Antwinae worried if she would have a place to call home.At ...
    Read More
  • Auctioneer Spotlight: Ty and Gracie Braga

    Over and over again, Park West collectors have told us that one of the highlights of their collecting experience is the lasting friendships they develop with our art auctioneers and ...
    Read More
  • Stairway to Heaven: Fascinating New Salvador Dalí Exhibition Begins U.S. Tour

    Salvador Dalí is one of the most famous artists of the 20th century, but there are far more aspects to the artist’s career than just his notoriously mind-bending paintings.This ...
    Read More
  • Celebrate Independence Day with Our Summer Sale Americana Art

    In the United States, the Fourth of July stirs up patriotism in everyone. Regardless of your background or beliefs, Independence Day is a time for the country to come together ...
    Read More
  • Park West Recruiter Wins Big on ‘The Price is Right’

    Park West Gallery Recruiter Neil Nussbaum and his wife, Hannah, have always been huge fans of “The Price is Right.”When they first met, they bonded over their shared love ...
    Read More
  • Jerusalem Post Profiles ‘Icon’ Yaacov Agam for His 90th Birthday

    “There are only a few words that accurately describe Yaacov Agam,” says Park West Gallery Founder and CEO Albert Scaglione. “‘Innovator’, ‘genius’, and, yes, ‘icon.’ The man is definitely ...
    Read More
  • New Michael Godard Sale Features More Than 30 Unique Works

    As the “Rock Star of the Art World,” Michael Godard borrows a page from his musical counterparts by searching for new and innovative ways to express himself.“I’ve always admired ...
    Read More
  • Saving Lady Liberty: How Peter Max Helped Restore the Statue of Liberty

    Iconic Pop artist Peter Max has several recurring images that he’s returned to throughout his prolific career, but perhaps none are more famous than the Statue of Liberty. Max ...
    Read More