Robert McCoy

(b. 1946)

"My mother's family arrived in Colorado Springs during the 1870's by taking a cutoff from the Oregon Trail. Some of their possessions from that trip are in the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum. My great grandfather started a dairy farm on land that is now part of Colorado College, and two of his sons started the Ox-Bow cattle ranch between Pueblo and Walsenburg. My father's family were Scottish farmers who arrived in North Carolina in the mid 1700's due to the Highland Clearances. My fourth great grandfather, John McCoy, fought in the Revolution. After the war, the family gradually migrated west, and arrived in Colorado Springs during the 1880's.

I spent my formative years in Santa Fe, New Mexico in the 1950’s. That gave me an appreciation for both Native American and Hispanic cultures, and exposure to their works of art. My two best friends were Navajos whose families lived at the Indian School. As a kid, I was always drawing with whatever materials were available. At age twelve, we moved to San Antonio, Texas where I began studying painting with Warren Hunter, a noted artist and illustrator.

 After serving in the Air Force during Vietnam, I continued studying painting at the University of Houston, receiving a BFA degree in 1974. Upon completion, I was accepted for graduate work at the University of New Mexico, the University of Arizona, and Southern Methodist University. I was also given the opportunity to live and teach in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico for a year, which I chose. That gave me exposure to the original paintings and murals by famous Mexican artists, and life within a different culture. At the end of the year, I was given the same opportunity to live and teach in Rome, Italy. I traveled by freighter, which took several weeks to unload cargo at different ports. Those experiences were unique and had a profound influence on my work. After returning to Texas, I was accepted in the graduate program at the University of Houston, and received a MFA degree in 1981."

Artist's Statement:

"Over the years I have explored a variety of subjects and used different methods and materials to illustrate my ideas. It has been an experimental process to determine my path.  I've found that using still life as a platform is the best way to express myself. Realism is my preference for illustrating those ideas.

 Western subjects have become my focus. This coincides with family experiences and research which has put me back in touch with my roots. Although I've traveled extensively, I've spent most of my life between Texas, Colorado, and New Mexico. Those years have filled me with a love for the West, and have helped to shape my vision. There is an honesty about this subject, and being from early pioneer families legitimizes my involvement. These are the places where stories originated and where the ruins remain. I continually return to these areas to feel inspired and rejuvenated. Adding to that resource is a library of books and movies that have influenced me personally, and our culture as a whole.

 I am a "realist". One art critic described me as a "hyper realist". That process takes time because of the steps involved. I'm more concerned with producing works that reflect thought and quality rather than quantity. In addition, I'll use professional grade oils for purity and strength, along with custom stretchers or panels made for maximum stability. I prepare each surface by hand to obtain the feel I like, and in the final stages, will apply glazes to add luminosity and shadows. It is also important that I work from life rather than from photographs. As a result, I will continually search for and collect vintage or antique items that can be used for my subjects."

Photo by: JB Hillard
Photo by: JB Hillard
Photo by: JB Hillard

Below are a just a few of the artists featured at The V6 Gallery: