He was successful at commercial art, creating posters for clients like the Southern Pacific, Union Pacific and Sante Fe railroads which today are collector's items. He created the Van deKamp Bakeries logo of a windmill.
For half of 1913, he visited the great museums of Europe. When he returned home, he married Phoebe Mulholland, the niece of William Mulholland of the LA water district. During the depression, Sam turned to teaching art, including teaching at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles.
In his personal life, after a divorce at age 55, Sam married Marion. The new couple purchased Jack Wilkinson Smith's old studio on Champion Place in Alhambra. This eucalyptus and pine lined lane with a great view of the San Gabriel Mountains has retained the nickname Artists' Alley. It came to be known as the "Little Bohemia," the "Greenwich Village," and the "Montmartre" of the Southwest. The alley attracted notable artists such as Frank Tenney Johnson, Jack Wilkinson Smith, Eli Harvey, Clyde Forsythe and Norman Rockwell. Rockwell came to paint in the summertime and just to enjoy the company.
The major portion of Sam's final painting period focused on desert landscapes, introduced to Sam by the famed desert painter James Swinnerton. Sam painted for himself. He drew a distinction between commercial art, done for a client, and art he did on his own. He greatly disliked the notion of creating art "to please the public." Yet his art drew critical praise, the admiration of his peers, and he won many awards.
Source: Distinguished Artist Series, Sam Hyde Harris 1889-1977, by Ruth Westphal, http://www.tfaoi.com/distingu/sh.htm