Harris's oil paintings are generally based on his watercolours and were completed after he returned to England. He often combined a number of watercolour images on one canvas to create a more complex composition - a "composite" as he called it. (3) Melfa River Crossings is a particularly fine example of a small Harris watercolour later used as the basis for an oil painting. The landscape predominates in this 9-by-10 inch work (23 x 25 cm), which is incorporated into a larger oil painting of the same title.
|Melfa River Crossings||Melfa River Crossings, Italy|
Battleground near Ortona, a large one metre square oil on canvas is based on a small watercolour approximately 11 by 15 inches (28 x 38 cm) in size titled German Anti-Tank Position. In the oil painting, the destroyed tree to the right of the composition is simplified, as are the background details. The tank and anti-tank gun and the rocket trails in the sky appear in both versions of the subject. The dead horse in the foreground of the oil painting is an addition to the composition.
|Battleground Near Ortona||German Anti-Tank Position|
After the war Harris headed the Fine Arts Department at Mount Allison University and his style of painting became increasingly abstract. During the war he had completed a number of oil portraits, which were remarkable for the dour seriousness of the sitters' expressions.
|Major General J.M. Roberts, DSO, MC||Lt (Nursing Sister) F.M. Copeman|
In the decades following, he continued to paint portraits that display little of his abstract interests. His war paintings are all housed at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, the watercolour images remaining among his most popular works.
|Harris in Ortona, Italy||Clearing Ortona Streets of Rubble|