Graduating with honors from the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles in 1971, Gary began his career as an artist when he was hired as an in-house illustrator for a California design studio. In 1973, after a sellout one-man show in Tucson AZ, he decided to pave his way into the future as a Western Artist.
Gary expresses his passion for the West not only in his oil paintings, but also in the life he leads with his wife, Marlys, in the mountains of Montana near Yellowstone National Park. He gained an intensive insight into the world of the cowboy when he lived an worked in a bunkhouse studio at the Sun Ranch in the Madison Valley a few miles from where he lives. He is also a collector of books and western artifacts, enjoys riding, doing cow work, pack trips, model railroading, fly fishing, hot-rodding and participation in Mountain Man Rendezvous. These interests and hobbies keep Gary's work alive.
Gary and his brother, Jack, founded the Gary Carter Western Art Print Company in 1981. Limited edition prints are sold in galleries in nearly every state in the US and in several foreign countries. The Stalking Horse& series sold out almost immediately after publication, primarily by collectors.
In 1982, Gary was elected and continues to be a member of the Cowboy Artists of America.. He served as president from 1985 to 1986 and was instrumental in bringing group workshops to other professional artitsts . The Crow Indian Nations adopted Gary in June 1991 as a member of the Real Bird family and the Big Lodge Clan. He was given the name Eagle Man. Each year on the anniversary of The Battle of the Little Big Horn in June, Gary and his Indian brothers recreate the battle of the little big horn at Medicine Tail Coulee, which is on the Real Bird ranch. (The Custer National Battlefield is a square island within the ranch) The re-enactment of the Battle is based on the local Indian memory passed down through the families of the Crow Tribe.