Harry Orlyk is a most unusual fellow, even for an artist. In the rarefied atmosphere inside his van, the windshield is his window on the world, allowing him to paint in all weather. “I used to take my backpack. I’d walk to my chosen vantage point, then I’d have to build an eagle’s nest of brush and branches to keep the cows out. That was before I drove my van onto the fields. Why should I make it difficult for myself?” Orlyk is 68, tall, thin and craggy, like Lincoln, but with kind, intense, deep-set blue-grey eyes like Robert Frost. He doesn’t use an easel—his steering wheel suffices.
Especially on days that are sunny, he itches to get going. “Orlyk men tend to self-destruct,” he remarks cryptically, “Hence my insistence to bring sunlight into the picture in my quest for the spiritual.”