Robert. W. H. McCoy, born in Colorado Springs, CO 1946
I spent part of 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 drawing and painting with Warren Hunter, a noted artist and illustrator.
Warren Hunter, La Villita Studio/Classroom
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 in Dallas. 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 prominent Mexican artists, and life within a different culture.
At the end of that year, I was given the same opportunity to live and teach in Rome. I took a train to New Orleans where I boarded a Lykes freighter. It took several weeks to cross and unload cargo at different ports. After disembarking in Genoa and traveling to Rome, I acquired an apartment at the top of a building overlooking the Vatican and the historical city. Each day I spent the mornings teaching, and the afternoons going to museums, churches, and historical sites. In the evenings I would do my own work. Those experiences were unique and had a profound influence on my development as an artist.
When I returned to Texas, I was accepted in the graduate program at the University of Houston. During that time I was awarded a teaching fellowship and received my MFA degree in 1981. After graduation, I taught at several institutions until 1990 when I began painting fulltime. I have been represented by galleries since 1975, and continue to have my work represented today.
Graduate Studio, Lawndale Annex, University of Houston, 1979