D. Harihar considers painting as his life. It was his painter father who has instilled the passion of painting within him. He had experienced the struggle that his father had undergone in order to actualise a distinct place for himself. It was the time of the British Raj. But an untimely death left Harihar's father's treasured dream unfulfilled. Afterwards D. Harihar decided to fulfill his father's unrealised dream.
D. Harihar obtained a degree in fine arts from the Nagpur School of Art. Then he moved to Mumbai and completed his graduation and postgraduation from the renowned Sir J. J. School of Art in painting in the year 1969 and murals in the year 1971 respectively. After acquiring these degrees, D. Harihar as one of the founder members, established the Goa College of Art. He spent approximately three decades in the institution. His main aim as Head of the Department of the Painting Section in the college was to inspire the students to achieve their very best. According to his own words, "We learn only fundamentals and techniques in Art School but the art comes out from within oneself. The artist first works for his own satisfaction and later for the society". Harihar had established an amazing understanding with his students.
Today D. Harihar has achieved his cherished dream and has become an artist par excellence. Apart from dedicating his life towards the Goa College of Art, D. Harihar remains an avid painter. Throughout his life he took part in only 18 solo exhibitions. Apart from that he has participated in numerous group shows, art camps, seminars etc. His solo exhibitions include-- Vidarbha Sahitya Sangh hall, Nagpur, 1966 and 1972; Aurobindo hall, Panaji Goa, 1973; Menezes Braganza Hall, Panaji, Goa, 1975; Kala Academy, Panaji, Goa, in the years 1984,1985,1993, 1995, 1996 respectively; Flying Dutchman Art gallery, Calangute, Goa, 1993; Jehangir Art gallery, Bombay, 1987; Lalit Kala Academi, Rabindra Bhavan, New Delhi, 1996; Art Gallery D Harihar, Porvorim, Goa, 1998 and 2000; Youth Hostel, Miramar, Panjim, Goa, 2001; OM Shanti Art Gallery, Anjuna, Goa, 2002.
While D. Harihar was asked about his works, he said, "My landscapes flow from my experience of Goa where I live and work. They are composite studies, made from wide- spaced images woven into one". D. Harihar possesses a great quality of painting landscapes in traditional style. Though he paints applying the conventional style, yet he never tried to incorporate his vision as an artist who is deflowered by inflexible adherence to reality. He impregnates vitality in all his works, through the use of colours in an extravagant manner. Colours prove to be true to the subject matter of his creation. As he extricates, "As a painter I feel it is my paramount duty to understand nature and transform its messages into my own personal statement. The more I succeed in relating
the perspectives of nature to my perspective, the more rewarded I feel". D. Harihar is also illustrious for his delicacy in painting portraits. But his landscape painting brought him the required fame from admirers. As he feels nature as the all-encompassing mother, it works as his main inspiration behind the creations. One of the celebrated contemporary artists, Laxman Pai once described Harihar's landscape paintings as, "Individual expression in depicting subject inspired from Goan landscapes is what I see in D. Harihar's painting." As an artist D. Harihar has always contributed his works to many widely known publications in the country like- Times of India, India Today and Yugdharm, a popular publication in Nagpur, in addition to various local dailies.
A portrait series of the Late Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi for the Secretariat in Goa, a painting for All India Radio in Panaji and a portrait painting of Dr. T B Cunha for the Indian Embassy in Washington DC are some of Harihar's custom-made paintings. As a recognition of his creations, he has been conferred numerous honours. He was awarded the First and Second prize for Painting Exhibition, organised by Nagpur Nagar Palika Shatabdi Samaroh in 1965; First, Second, Merit and Highly Commanded prize for painting exhibition, organised by Nagpur Medical College in 1962, 1963, 1964, and 1965 respectively. First prize for Dolly Cursetji, First prize for Roop Bheda, Kala Deep, First prize for Sketch Club, Solomon Scholarship and Silver Medal Fellowship in the Dept of drawing and painting, Marathi Academy Awarded Harihar the "Dalal Artist Award" in 1995, all of which have been conferred on him by the renowned Sir J.J. School of Art. He has also received several State Awards from the years 1974 to 1994 at a stretch from Kala Academy, Goa. D. Harihar has also bagged the honour of being the General Council Member of the Lalit Kala Akademi in New Delhi and the Life Member of the Mumbai Art Society. Professor D. Harihar passed away on June 23rd 2006, leaving behind his wife and four children.