Friday, April 24

Obituary : Watercolorist Steve Hanks dies at 66

Steve Hanks was a master in his medium.
That’s how friends and family remember the internationally known watercolor artist, who made Albuquerque his home for a big part of his life. He was especially noted for his portraits of women and children.
Hanks died Tuesday of cardiac arrest. He was 66.
Artist Steve Hanks, who died Tuesday, is pictured here in his Albuquerque studio. (Dean Hanson/Albuquerque Journal)
Artist Steve Hanks, who died Tuesday, is pictured here in his Albuquerque studio. (Dean Hanson/Albuquerque Journal)
As a true artist does, Hanks didn’t stop painting, though he slowed down tremendously when he was diagnosed recently with cancer and began chemotherapy.
“Once he started the radiation, it was difficult for him,” said his former wife, Laura Hanks. “This was a man that would spend 10 to 14 hours a day painting. He didn’t have any days off. Then he would only have an hour to paint, and he would get tired easily.”
Hanks was born into a military family in San Diego in 1949. His father was a highly decorated World War II Navy flyer, and Hanks grew up playing tennis and surfing along the beaches of Southern California.
The family was transferred to New Mexico when he was a junior in high school.
After high school, he attended the Academy of Fine Arts in San Francisco and transferred to the California College of Arts and Crafts, where he graduated with a bachelor of fine arts degree.
Hanks experimented with many media – oils, watercolor, pencil, acrylics. But he found his calling in watercolor and became well-known in the world art community.

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