By Bonnie Gangelhoff
Painter Nathan Solano worked for a number of years as both an illustrator and art director in Florida and Colorado. But in his spare time he has always pursued a fine-art career. In 1989, Solano accepted a position as an art director with Hewlett-Packard. One week later the company downsized, and he was laid off. The artist took it as a sign that it was time to leave the illustration life behind, and since then the Colorado-based artist has devoted his talents to painting Native Americans, cowboys, and the ranching life.
Solano is a frequent visitor to Chico Basin Ranch, located about 35 miles southeast of Colorado Springs. At the working ranch, he ropes and rides as well as shoots photographs to use as reference material for his paintings. He’s not a cowboy, the artist says, but he enjoys living and depicting the cowboy life—from herding cattle to riding the range solo. His paintings tell stories and often boast humorous titles, such as the one that depicts a lone rancher and his horse riding across a field together called four wheel drive.
The artist participates in a number of annual art shows throughout the state, including the Greeley Stampede and the Colorado Governor’s Invitational Art Show and Sale in Loveland. He is represented by Abend Gallery, Denver, CO; Saks Galleries, Denver, CO; Paint Horse Gallery, Breckenridge, CO; and Sorrell Sky Gallery, Durango, CO.
Featured in “Artist to Watch” March 2005