Steve Hanks can do incredible things with watercolors.
The New Mexico-based artist — and frequent Aspen visitor — crafts an uncanny realism on his canvases.
Hanks has been painting Aspen for more than two decades, capturing its people and mountain scenery. You can hear directly from the artist about his life and work this week.
Hanks will speak at a reception at E.S. Lawrence Gallery (217 S. Galena St. 970-920-2922) on Friday, Dec. 28. The reception runs from 5 - 9 p.m.
After his family moved to Albuquerque from San Francisco in 1966, Steve Hanks decided to study commercial art. He graduated from the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, during the explosive 1960s.
Initially, his works were pencil drawings and oils. His paintings were impressionistic while his drawings were realistic. Eventually, an allergic reaction to oils forced him to experiment with watercolors. Using the techniques learned from his other mediums, he found he could create watercolors as “finished” as oils.
Art jurors began recognizing the quality of his work in 1973. Steve Hanks won the Arts for the Parks Marine Art Award of Excellence in 1990 and 1994, and has been one of the Arts for the Parks top 100 artists since 1989. In 1991, Steve Hanks received the National Watercolor Society Merit Award and the National Academy of Western Art awarded him the Gold Medal in 1992. Since 1993, he has been one of U.S. Art Magazine’s top ten American artists. His original works are in high demand by both public and private collectors.