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Sold at Auction: Steve Hanks



Steve Hanks was born into a military family in San Francisco. He spent his childhood playing tennis and surfing. He also showed a natural tendency towards art, although sports were initially more of a priority. In fact, despite a clear talent, he did not perform well in his high school art class owing to the fact that he did not turn in many assignments. Eventually, to demonstrate himself, he held his own one man show at school and ended up selling his first piece to an art teacher. After high school, he took some summer courses on commercial art at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. This soon led to a transfer to California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, where he focused on figurative and life drawing.

Upon graduation in 1960, Hanks landed a job taking care of Campfire Girls camp in New Mexico. This allowed him a fair amount of time to paint. Initially, he drew in pencil to create realistic drawing and painted in oil for impressionistic paintings. However, Steve found that he was allergic to oils, so he tried his hand at watercolor. His background in figurative drawing helped define his unique style of watercolor painting, which has helped him find significant success in the fine art community. Hanks has been honored by the National Watercolor Society, the National Academy of Western Art, Art for the Parks, and US Art Magazine. Steve paints to the music of Bob Dylan and frequently includes the ocean in his work as a result of his younger years on the shores of California. Additionally, his wife Laura and their three daughters can be found in some of his pieces.

Of his career, Steve Hanks has said, “All art is an escape to somewhere you want to be or a feeling you want to have. People see different things in my paintings because we all have different backgrounds and feelings.” His limited edition fine art prints are popular across the country, making him one of the top 25 selling artists in the United States.
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