Gary Cantor earned his bachelor’s in fine arts degree from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles in1961. After graduating, he continued his art studies in Europe and Israel. He founded an advertising/design studio in San Diego in 1964 and founded the Art Institute of California in 1981. He retired to his studio in Del Mar, California in 2000.

Gary’s work has appeared in various public venues including the San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego Art Institute, San Diego State University, University of Southern California, University of Arizona, and the San Diego Jewish Community Center.

Gary has participated in six one-person exhibitions, which led to his work being collected by various art patrons including Dr. Andrea Rich former Director/Curator Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Judi Missett CEO Jazzercise, Jack Goodall former CEO Jack in the Box – among others.

A FANS 2021 page has been added To join the FANS 2021 page – take a photo with you and your Gary Cantor giclee print and email it to along with your full name and location – for example John Smith, San Diego, CA.

For more information: Phone 858-735-2144 or Email him at

Artist Statement:

I have been a painter all my life – my medium for many years was oil paint on canvass. In the 1970’s I painted with acrylics on canvass and on plexiglass – and in the 1990’s I went to the computer and began painting with pixels on a screen.  

The images displayed on this site are drawn freehand using a mouse with a laptop attached to a TV monitor.

Most often I create my paintings with a black digital line on a white ground. I freely allow the line to guide my hand and follow the pattern that comes forth. In time shapes appear and in further time a subject appears.

Then I determine what I have drawn and from the determination I develop my painting. I rework the new image until I have a composition that is ready to be “decorated.”

I then fill the positive and negative spaces with color and values, shades and patterns that aesthetically appeal to me. I readjust and juxtapose these elements until, once again, they appeal to my aesthetics.

Then and only then, do I give the work a title that describes what I have subconsciously done thus  bringing the image into a consciousness that the viewer can better understand.

There are other times I have an idea for an image – and I set out to accomplish that visual goal. I still let the lines guide my hand, but I do add some control to direct the lines to achieve more objectivity in that I want the final work to represent my original vision.

In general my colors are pure and tend to be on the bright side – I like color. I normally do not use shading and only do so if it enhances the colors themselves and not to show dimension.

I am subjective about the shape, size, and placement of things including facial characteristics, figure proportions and that would include limbs, hands, feet, etc.

I dress up my paintings with the wonderful patterns and textures one can only get with digital art techniques. I like juxtaposing a flat surface against a patterned one.

I am not on any social media, so the only way of exposing my work to others is for you, if you feel so inclined, to forward my work to your family and friends. I know it will make my major “patron” happy.

Thank for your time and attention, Gary Cantor

I would like to give credit to some of my major patrons who were not recognized on my Home Page and who hold major collections of my earlier work and who gave me the recognition to keep going. Chris and Dr. Roland Blantz, Dennis Cantor, Ron Gerber, Jay and Susan Golding, Randy Gruber, Henry Haimsohn, Howard Koosed, and Leo Zuckerman.


Social Encounters series. The thought behind the work is to demonstrate what seems like everyday encounters between adults – then to slightly twist the dynamics to add some “flavor” to the activity.

I Am Here to Tell You I Might be Telling You the Truth. This image is not directed at one person or party – it is in my opinion that those who covet power and can afford to pay for it will purchase a narcissist who will say anything – regardless of validity –  that must be said to gain votes.

I Could have Been a Contender is a satire of the classic punch-drunk fighter who does not know it is “over”.  Like the injured party in a divorce.

If Castro Could Only See Us Now – also explains itself.

No – It’s “Of All The Gin Joints, In All The Towns …” – somehow when I was drawing I could see this couple (strangers) together at a bar near closing. You should know they are now married with three children.

Prego shows a smiling host emerged from my sketch welcoming you to his café.

Quarterly Projections came about because of total lack of my ability to understand anything dealing with numbers – never believed they worked. So referring to a Ouija board is as good a way as any to come up with the figures for a quarterly report.

Sunday Morning is part of the work for the bike shop exhibition.

Sure Beats Jogging is part of the work for the bike shop exhibition.

The Good News–There Is No News. I have known since my early days in advertising (and before) that all the news chosen to be released to the public is based on shaky, if any, discernable research – it is geared to gain attention to increase the audience of the medium delivering the message – in a country that allows profit business. In countries that do not – it is relegated to propaganda that supports the ruling government.

Unexpected Encounters serieswas created to have a file of images accessible to children. I worked with a child’s bookstore to setup an exhibition becoming aware of visual images that are ready for pre-adults viewing and understand. Essentially, Social Encounters are adult content, whereas Unexpected Encounters are family friendly.

This series shows children with creatures they normally fear. The images are graphic “dreams” where there is no danger in a threatening situation.

A Visit With a Baby Dinosaur.

A Visit With a Bear

A Visit With a Big Bird

A Visit With a Crocodile

A Visit With a Dragon

The following series shows two creatures that are normally not together – a way of saying, “You can be with someone who is different from you.” Those with an asterisk are exceptions and were just produced for the fun of it.

Butterfly and Goldfish

Centaur, Cat & Bird

Fairy & Ghost

Fireman & Marlin

Four-Legged Thing & Clown

Here We go*

I Told You Dad*

True Love*

Two-Headed Thing & Dog

Vaudevillian Soft Shoe*

Vaudevillian Tap-Dancers Act*

View of Aggro Turtle*

Yes – That’s the Moon*

Downtown is my view of “life” in what was once the center of a city – Downtown. Those in power were predominantly white males who wore a suit and tie.

Stranger shows the attitude of the conservative businessmen to anyone who dare look different and not be in proper business attire.

The Interview is an example of the one-sided situation where the interviewer was in total control. Unlike today where there are many new opportunities in technology and medicine, etc. – there were very few entry level jobs available, and few college educations prepared you for entry into the real business world – thus the interview demonstrates the power position of the interviewer – who could smoke unlike the interviewee.

Heads Up – there were often all-night poker or other card games held in the office after closing. In all candor, “Heads Up” normally referring to Texas Hold Em would not be true – they would be playing gin rummer or traditional poker games (five card draw, etc.). Texas Hold Em became popular much later through TV exposure.

Montage, Montage Two, Harbor, Trademark, Sunrise, and Calculations are all abstracts of the subject “downtown”

Coffee House shows my interpretation of what happens in the most popular gathering place of our time.

Discussion is a wishful idea of an orthodox Israeli and a Palestinian sitting down over coffee and peacefully explaining their individual positions about the Israeli-Palestinian situation.

Son & Father Reunion shows the reunion of both and how they differ in their lifestyles.

Hot Chocolate needs no explanation.

Loyal Friend – nor does “Loyal Friend.”

Negotiation demonstrates management and labor sitting down over a cup of coffee to negotiate.

Saturday shows a full house at the coffee house.

Casitas and Hotel series are self-explanatory.

Surfer Series is more about the ocean than the surfer. It represents the personality and power of the ocean – the under tows, unexpected  changes of breaking waves, kelp, seaweed, salt, wind, and the fear of being surrounded by nontransparent  water. Think about it, the ocean is the only environment we go into not knowing what we are surrounded by and what is under us. In a lake – you can see to the bottom and the same in many bays – ever thing else we enter, if it is dark, we use a flashlight. Amazing how we learn to trust going into the surf.


Digital Painting is an art form in which traditional painting are applied using a computer. The artist uses painting techniques to create the digital painting directly on the computer. To print a giclee print, a 12 color inkjet printer squirts special pigments (not dyes) onto archival quality material – 100% cotton paper, linen rag, or canvas. Because of the pigments and quality print medium, giclee prints demonstrate longevity with fade-resistant colors.


The beauty of a giclee print is that each reproduction is as true to the original as possible, and a lot of that has to do with the 12 colors of the printer. Printers with 12 colors are better suited to accurately recreating the original look of the image. This is especially important if you are planning on selling your artwork or entering it into competitions. As a bonus, an artist is no longer limited to selling just the original; s/he can sell as many copies as desired. As such, giclee prints are suitable for both printing of digital photographs as well as creating copies of original art.