Lawrence Vincent Garrison was born in Detroit on June 12, 1923. He enlisted in the Marine Corps during World War II, and while serving on Midway Island in the Pacific, fellow Marines paid him to make sketches of them that they could send home. After his discharge from the Marines in 1947, he enrolled in the New England School of Art in Boston, where he studied for three years.
After a short stint driving stock cars, he moved to San Diego in 1951 and went to work for Rohr Corp. in Chula Vista as a production efficiency expert. Four years later, he opened a studio near Fifth Avenue and Date Street downtown to devote all his time to painting.
Larry Vincent Garrison followed his muse and became a portrait artist, painting couples, families and children. He made his living as an artist, but after several years he felt restricted by the structured nature of portrait work. Encouraged by fellow artist Julian Ritter, Mr. Garrison switched to painting nudes in 1963. He took to the form immediately and spent the next four decades trying to capture the graceful line and subtle tones of the human body. Works by Mr. Garrison, who painted under the name Vincent, are on display at more than 300 galleries around the world.
Mr. Garrison often said he was captivated by the elegance of women and wanted “to put women on a pedestal.” “He enjoyed the female form,” his daughter Barbara Spinali said. “It was lucid and beautiful to him. He thought painting it was a way to honor women.” The challenge of capturing the human form was Mr. Garrison's passion.
“There is nothing more difficult than painting nudes,” he said in a 1983 interview with The Plate Collector magazine. “Everyone's a critic. If I paint that tree, then it doesn't matter if the branches go this way or that way. But, everyone knows what a body is supposed to look like.” Mr. Garrison painted hundreds of nudes, often completing two a week. He sold most of his work through galleries or a Los Angeles art dealer.
Mr. Garrison died April 12 in his La Mesa home after battling prostate cancer for three years. He was 83. Survivors include his daughters Janet Mittleman of Rancho Santa Fe and Barbara Spinali of Del Mar; son, Paul Garrison of Las Vegas; and sister, Leone Hayworth of Lakeside. Mr. Garrison's remains were cremated and were inurned at a memorial service on May 25, 2007 at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in Point Loma.