Margaret Wynnfred was born in 1917
as the second daughter of the Williams family of Hilo,
Hawaii. She was born without her left hand and forearm
which from the start probably made her more determined to
achieve her goals and be the best at anything that she
would set her mind to. And her overwhelming interest was
art. When she was a toddler she was drawing with pencils
and luckily her parents acknowledged her talent and
In 1936 Garé graduated from the
local art school with distinction. She then moved to
Boston, Massachusetts, in order to attend the prestigeous
Vesper George School of Art where she often worked until
the small hours of the night. She was soon spotted as one
of the most talented students ever there and her hard
work got her into Who's Who in the World in 1941.
One day Garé saw a newspaper article about a nearby chicken farmer who dabbled with the drawing of some comic books and she went out there to see if he might have any work for her. Little did she know that she was meeting her future husband that day because the farmer was Carl Barks. But he did not have any work for her and that was that. For the time being...
After spending the remaining war years as a
draftsman for the McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Company
Garé continued her painting at the family's house. She
had married years earlier but that ended in a painful
divorce. However, in 1952 everything seemed to brighten
up as she happened to meet Carl Barks again. By
coincidence he visited a county art show of which Garé
was in charge and they got to talking.
The couple was married in Reno, Nevada, in 1954 and by that time Garé had realized that instead of painting tropical floral arrangements she preferred the painting of landscapes i.e. forests, mountains, lakes and rivers through the different seasons of the year. She participated in a multitude of art shows up through the sixties and won several prestigeous prizes for her eminent work.
Garé learned new aspects of the trade all the time. Her many forest paintings for example clearly reflected her understanding of varying use of colours, and light and dark effects. Many a day her husband drove her to the nearby Californian woods where she could draw countless sketches to be used later in her compositions back in the studio.
Garé was now so esteemed in art circles that her work began to appear on Christmas postcards from the Leanin' Tree company, and this line of work reached a height in 1991 when her painting Mountain Laurel Time was chosen in competition with 2,500 contestants as the one supplied to the American troops in the ongoing Gulf War in Iraq. Many of the paintings are nowadays on display in the Leanin' Tree Museum of Western Art in Boulder, Colorado.
From the early 1980s Garé experienced growing health problems but she was still working long hours at her beloved easel almost every day. The couple had only a few friends as right from their joint start they had decided to devote themselves to their work. And they stuck to the initial decision and worked to the end bringing unspeakable joy to countless thousands of art lovers.
Garé died on March 10th, 1993. She is buried next to her husband at Hillcrest Memorial Cemetery in Grants Pass, Oregon.
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