This unassuming master artist has never sought recognition - just
the satisfaction of quietly creating the best aeronautical compositions possible.
He has never been marketed by a major art publisher; never, in fact, quit his job
as a graphic artist with a midwest newspaper. Nor has he taken formal training in,
or studied, the fine arts. In short, he researches and paints historic aviation
scenes for the sheer love of it.
Harley began aeronautical
painting in the late 1960's, studying the works of model box-top artists. In
1971, he was invited to join the U.S. Air Force Art
As part of his research, he
flew in a variety of Air Force aircraft. In 1972, he went on a research tour
of bases in Southeast Asia. This lead to one of his favorite - and
better-known - paintings, "Thunder Over The Red River", a tribute to the
F-105 Thunderchief and the men who flew it.
Other favorite subjects
include the P-47 Thunderbolt, with paintings such as "Bud's Jug" and "Final
Mission" that commemorate great Thunderbolt pilots of the 56th Fighter Group
in World War II. He is perhaps best known for his stunning renditions of the
P-51 Mustang fighter.