Robert W.H. McCoy
Robert Winter Hughes McCoy, born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, 1946
"My mother's family arrived in Colorado during the 1870’s by wagon train from Seward, Nebraska. George W. H. DeWitt, my great grandfather, owned a dairy farm on land that is now part of Colorado College, and two of his sons, Scott and Leonard, started the Ox-Bow cattle ranch near Rattlesnake Buttes around 1910. In the 1940’s they sold the original ranch and started the Silver Circle ranch in the Beulah Valley. Through the years I visited the Beulah ranch, and was inspired by the beautiful foothills, the rugged lifestyle, and the stories that were told. Those experiences and subjects influence my current work.
I spent my formative years in Santa Fe, New Mexico in the 1950’s. That experience gave me an appreciation for both Native American and Hispanic cultures, and exposure to their works of art. My two best friends were Navajos who lived with their families at the Indian School. Later my mother and I moved to San Antonio, Texas where I began studying painting with Warren Hunter, a noted artist and illustrator, in historic La Villita.
After being discharged from the Air Force in 1970, I continued studying art at the University of Houston, receiving a BFA degree in 1974. Upon completion, I was accepted for graduate work at several universities. However, I was also given an opportunity to live and teach in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico for a year, which I chose. That experience gave me exposure to the original paintings and murals by accomplished Mexican painters, and life within a different culture. At the end of the year, I was given the chance to do the same thing in Rome, Italy. Both of those experiences were overwhelming 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 an MFA degree in 1981. Over the years I have taught all levels of painting and drawing at various institutions until 1990 when I began painting full time."