He studied at the Rhode Island School of Design; his teachers were Cyrus Farnum, Stacy Tolman, and George A. Hays. Harris was a member of and exhibited at the Providence Art Club, the Providence Watercolor Club, and the South County Art Association. He also exhibited at the Attleboro Museum of Art, among others.
A life-long Rhode Island resident, he taught and supported local artists and took painting trips, including to Bermuda.
Following is a testimonial from one of his students, artist Caroline Edlund:
At the age of 11, I began painting lessons with C. Gordon Harris. He was my
first painting teacher and one of three most influential instructors in
developing my skills as a painter. He was an amicable, pleasant man. He painted on location from early
April through October. After his passing, a movement was begun to honor his
memory. A painting was purchased and presented to the Lincoln Town Hall in his