Gordon Brown made his first foray into art when he bought a set of oil paints while in high school. Although he had not painted until then, two of his oils won best of show and first place, respectively, in a high school art contest. This early recognition sparked his interest in art and his desire to pursue a career as an artist. Brown also received encouragement from several established artists in the area. Shortly after graduating from high school, he was introduced to Mark Rohrig, who invited Brown to his one-man show in Aspen, Colorado. From this experience in the professional art world, Brown learned that it was possible to earn a living as a painter.