Paintings by Steve Hanks

Steve Hanks painting Steve Hanks (1949-2015) is recognized as one of the best watercolor artists working today. The detail, color and realism of Steve Hanks’ paintings are unheard of in this difficult medium.

Steve Hanks (1949 – 2015) was active/lived in New Mexico, California. Steve Hanks is known for Female figure painting, animal and interiors. Few artists could duplicate the emotional depth Steve Hanks achieved in his spectacular watercolors.

Each painting was meticulously drawn with great attention to detail. Each of Hanks’ watercolors reflected a moment in time. The viewer’s reward was a grand interconnectedness with the artists’ favorite moments. These moments reflect our own experiences as well.

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.

Initially, he drew in pencil and painted in oils. His paintings were impressionistic while his drawings were more realistic. Eventually, an allergic reaction to oils forced him to experiment with watercolors.