Steve Wilcox

Contact Steve Wilcox

       I was born in 1954, and grew up on the outskirts of Phoenix, Arizona.  Virgin desert land was available for exploration on foot near home, and there I learned to love the desert.

       I answered the call to become a painter in April 1975, in the lovely town of Tucson, Arizona.  I had graduated from high school in 1972, and spent a few years memorizing the stock of paintings in the Phoenix Art Museum and reading art books in the Phoenix Public Library. I knew I liked paintings, but didn't think I could do it myself, but after I had seen what seemed to be all the art available to me, and after I had mentally practiced what I thought I would do in paint to produce depictions of what I saw around me, I decided the moment had come to introduce myself to the world as an artist.  

        I now consider myself very fortunate to have arrived at this decision completely internally: at that time there were no 'Arts Committees' nor were streets and projects considered incomplete without public art.  In fact, at the time I decided to become a painter, I had never met an actual professional artist.

       I went to work in April 1975; decided my first couple of paintings indicated promise, so I continued on, painting another picture every few weeks; a pace I have maintained throughout my artistic life.

       The decision to paint with all my energy and time had two important ramifications: the production of many interesting paintings, and a 'bohemian' life.  If that sounds colorful, what I really mean is that I lived uncertainly, often in my car, and worked many miserable jobs; all as a result of my own decisions, of course.

       My earliest paintings were cityscapes; my immediate surroundings.  I also painted many horrific portraits with the daring only youth can confer.  Gradually these portraits became more acceptable.  The most difficult kinds of paintings for me, and the latest to emerge, were my landscapes.

       In 1995 I realized that I required a greater range of knowledge and understanding to be able to effect the kinds of changes I believe our world is in need of.  I studied at the University of Arizona for 13 years, earning first a Bachelors of Plant Science (2002), and then a Master's in Agricultural Education (2008).  I am interested in so-called 'third world' agriculture, and in those who work so hard to grow their food.  I respect the hard work farmers do, and the fundamental nature of food.
       I am also interested in the lives of people who are not farmers, and my hope is lead those around me to the Maker who knows us, and who showed by example in the Sent One that the truest test of love is one who will give his life for his friend.

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