Steve Hanks believed that the pinnacle of art was the painting of the unclothed figure, what is commonly referred to by the art world as the nude. There is nothing more challenging for an artist to paint and finding a respectable way to present the human body was an unending challenge for him.You’ll notice that nearly every nude Hanks painted is not looking at or beckoning the viewer. You find them having private, intimate moments in places where they are safe, secure and comfortable: the bedroom, the bed, the couch or the bath. These are moments of being completely alone, deep in private thought coming to terms with themselves.
For Steve, the most powerful moments were those when his subject could look so wonderful and not even be aware of it. As a bell-weather he would use the time he was walking through his bedroom and caught a glimpse of his wife changing and he thought to himself,” . . . my gosh – she is so beautiful right now and she doesn’t even realize it.”