Growing up in Edmonds, Guy Anderson showed and interest in art and culture at a young age. Once he graduated from high school he studied with Alaskan scenic painter Eustace Ziegler, who taught Anderson a number of important skills and was the inspiration behind his fondness for oil paints. Anderson won a Tiffany foundation scholarship and spent the summer of 1929 on Long Island. After that he moved back to Washington where he soon befriended a young Morris Graves and in the mid-1930s the duo traveled down the Oregon and California coast before coming back up to Seattle.
Towards the end of the Depression in 1939 Anderson found work with the Works Progress Administration Federal Art Project. Two years later he returned to Seattle, where he began working at the Seattle Art Museum. During the 1950s Anderson spilt his time between Seattle and La Conner, holding teaching positions in both cities. La Conner would become his permanent home in 1959, a move that proved to be beneficial to his art. In 1966 he traveled to Europe for the first time. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and used the money to travel and study artwork in major east coast museums. In 1982 he traveled to Japan where there his artwork was featured.