Gareth Parry was born in Blaenau Ffestiniog in 1951 into a family of quarrymen. Following school he attended the Manchester School of Art, but left before completing the course. Returning home, he worked at a local slate quarry for two years before taking up painting again.
For a long time he worked mostly on private commissions and “anything to make a living by the brush”. Then in 1980 he decided to concentrate on exhibitions, and as he says, “doing what I like”. For ten years or so he painted en plein air only. Working outside before the subject in all weathers taught him to paint with the minimum of fuss, and to be selective when faced with a myriad of natural detail. This period was crucial to his development and was as he has said, “the best teaching I could ever have”.
Gareth Parry’s work is mostly about “Cymru” and “Y Cymry” (land and the people), These days paintings are produced in his studio and are based on pencil sketches or on memory alone. His landscapes are more about mood and effect than place. The “people paintings” often reflect his own concerns about living in a changing Wales.
In 2006 Gareth was elected a member of the Royal Cambrian Academy.