By Bonnie Gangelhoff
As a boy growing up in New Hampshire, Roy Andersen always knew he wanted to be a cowboy or an Indian someday. In many ways, Andersen has lived out those dreams as a foremost painter of his childhood heroes. Although he began his career as a commercial illustrator and went on to create covers for Time, Sports Illustrated, and National Geographic magazines, he eventually pulled up his East Coast stakes and moved west, where he pursued a career in fine art. His rewards and awards have been many. For the past 19 years, Andersen has been invited to participate in the prestigious Prix de West Invitational Art Exhibition at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, OK.
Born: Chicago, IL, 1930.
Resides: Kerrville, TX.
Proudest accomplishment: I’m working on it now. It’s a very large painting (60 by 90 inches) with 36 Indians, nine horses, and two dogs.
What would you have done differently in your life? Nothing.
Advice to young artists: Draw. And draw from life.
Motto you have lived by over the years: It’s from writer Samuel Johnson: “Oh Lord, who has hitherto supported me, enable me to proceed in this present labor that in the last days, when I make a count of the talent committed to me, I may receive pardon.”
Biggest misconception about an artist’s life: There is a reason it’s called artwork, not art play. That’s because it’s work.
How has your work changed since starting out? It’s a natural progression of trying to do something better.
How has the art market changed? One of the big changes is that now it’s not so much men buying paintings for themselves as it is a husband and wife buying for their homes.
Other interests: I breed registered American paint horses as well as collect western paraphernalia and Indian artifacts. I also like to build model airplanes and ships and paint toy soldiers.
He is represented by Legacy Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ, and Jackson, WY; Settlers West Galleries, Tucson, AZ; Claggett/Rey Gallery, Vail, CO.
Featured in “Legends of Fine Art” in December 2008