Steve Hanks, the premiere artist working today in the technically demanding field of realistic watercolor figure painting, passed away on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 from complications of treatment for cancer.
His astonishing realism came from a skillful control of washes, edges and layers, and his knowledge of the properties of water and pigment.
“Now I understand how to gain control by letting go,” he said in his 2006 book, Moving On. “I just want to be part of the ride.”
Although teachers often cited his artistic ability, Steve Hanks’ main interest while growing up around San Francisco was sports. As a young teenager, Hanks pursued surfing and tennis with passion and his spiritual connection with the ocean never left him.
After high school Hanks enrolled in summer session commercial art courses at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. He did well in his commercial art classes, but it was a life drawing class that captured his interest. He focused his energy on the study of anatomy and figure drawing and transferred into the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, California. He graduated in the 1960s with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, and then moved back to New Mexico in search of a home art gallery.
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