Through the Eyes of a Father: The Poignant Art of Steve Hanks


Steve Hanks is a well-known American figure painter who was born into a military family in San Diego in 1949. Just as good writers write what they know, Steve paints what he lives. When his children were born, his work was filled the intimacy between infants and parents, the  joy of toddlers, and the wonder of youngsters discovering the world around them.

His watercolor paintings are infused with emotion and poetry  by a delicate use of light and shadow.  Each painting reveals a slice-of-life as he expresses his own emotional responses through art.

He calls this style ‘emotional realism’, often leaving the faces of his figures obscured or turned away, to allow the entire figure to express their emotion. Many pieces are what he refers to as “moments of introspective solitude,”.

However, his signature technique is backlighting.

“Sunlight has become one of my favorite subjects. I’m fascinated by how it filters through things, how it floods a whole room with color. Often my paintings are really more about sunlight than anything else”

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