Moving On – The Art of Steve Hanks
Winner Silver, Best Coffee Table Art Book
2008 Independent Publisher Book Awards
Steve Hanks is a figure painter. His watercolor paintings are infused with emotion and a kind of poetry formed by light and shadow in his compositions. He often paints what he refers to as “moments of introspective solitude” with deep respect for the privacy of the individual lost in reflection. Each painting holds a mystery that is also a personal story about the artist as he expresses his own emotional unfolding through art.
Just as writers are urged to “write what you know,” Steve Hanks paints what he lives. When his children were born his work was filled the profound intimacy between infants and parents, the unexpected joy of toddlers and the wonder of youngsters finding their way in the outside world.
Throughout his body of work, the study of the figure is primary and nowhere is this more in evidence than in Hanks’ nudes. Forms are defined by light slanting through windows and sunlight through fabric or the drape of a sheet. Through Steve’s mastery of composition, shadow and light, his figures emerge from the paper fully formed, unique and mysterious.
The emotional impact of these detailed and highly realistic paintings is undeniable. Whatever the subject – children, families, women, nudes, landscape, moving water or textile patterns – the paintings are also about light and shadow and reflect a personal challenge, pain, or joy of the artist.
The paintings in this volume represent the most extensive collection of the artist’s work in over ten years. Some time after his divorce in the 1990s, Steve began a series of paintings about healing. The paintings in this series are both deeply personal in their symbolism of the artist’s own life and universal in their emotion and experience. “I want my whole body of work to tell a story when I’m gone,” says Steve. “It will tell the story of my life emotionally.”
Steve Hanks is the premiere artist working in the technically-demanding field of realistic watercolor figure painting today. His astonishing realism comes 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,” says the artist. “I just want to be part of the ride.”
Hardcover book with shrink wrapped jacket. 176 pages, over 160 full color paintings