Gary Woodley was born in Ducklington, Oxfordshire. As a child he was interested in art and wildlife. In 1972 he joined the Boehm of Malvern Ceramic Studios in Worcestershire, where he was employed to decorate the porcelain studies of animals and birds. After a full training he became a freelance artist and joining the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds gave him the chance to show his work on Anglia Television in an exhibition at Woburn Abbey with the R.S.P.B. Later he became a lay member with the Society of Wildlife Artists where he has shown his work over the years.
1985 saw him move into the world of book illustration, the first book being a new edition of the "Wind in the Willows" published by World International. In the same year he was a finalist in the Athena Awards and has undertaken commissions for them. He has had "One Man Exhibitions" in the Craftman's Gallery, Woodstock, the Regent Gallery Cheltenham,and the Wildlife Gallery Toronto. His work has also been shown at the Moorland Gallery in London.
In 1989 he worked along side Mollie Harris to produce the book "Where the Windrush Flows", published by Alan Sutton now in its second edition. In 1991 "Wychwood the Secret Forest" was published, both Gary and Mollie were invited to the Yorkshire Post Literary Luncheon to speak about their books. The "Stripling Thames" published in 1994 completed the trilogy.
In 1996 he was commissioned by the English Heritage Trust together with the Archaeology Unit in Carlisle to prduce a series reconstruction paintings of Roman settlements just prior to the building of Hadrian's Wall.