Over the Pass by Bill Anton
About The Artist
Bill Anton was born in Chicago in 1957 and later moved to Prescott, Arizona. He graduated from Northern Arizona University. Later, after committing to painting full-time, he studied under Michael Lynch and Ned Jacob, who encouraged him to paint from life. “While the nature of my work necessitates much studio time, more and more of my painting is done outside.”
Anton’s work has been published in Southwest Art, Architectural Digest, Art of the West, Equine Images, Western Horseman and Art-Talk. Corporate collections that include his work are Sears, Dupont, State Farm Insurance, Bank of America, Hewlett Packard, and Trust Company of the West. His award winning work has been displayed at the Prix de West at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Masters of the American West at The Autry Museum, The National Center for American Western Art, the Old West Museum, and The National Museum of Wildlife Art. In addition, his work is in the permanent collection of the prestigious Gilcrease Museum.
“I do not see myself as a biographer of the cowboy. I know some artists feel they are recording history on the ranches as life there is today, but the focus of my work has always been mood and passion. If I’m recording anything, I’m recording how I feel about the west. I want the viewer to feel the drama of atmosphere and the mystery of a western night. I want the volume and portent of a cloud to be evident in the calligraphy of a brushstroke. The pack of muscle below a horse’s shoulder should be energized by a gestural application of paint.
“You see, I love to paint. And I love the American west. I was born in Chicago, but the Sierra Nevada, Sangre de Cristo, Sawatch and a hundred other ranges of our rocky mountains were the only “Big Shoulders” I was ever interested in. Walking thunderstorms, sunstruck cedars, rimrock and artfully abstract water patterns charge the landscape with impossible beauty.
“Amidst this nobility is its caretaker: the rancher. With the natural ease of generations bred to the saddle, he is a powerful image further ennobled by a fine horse. An artist under the spell of the west has the privilege of marshalling the virtues of landscape, figure andequine painting into one supremely paintable subject: the American cowboy.”
- Bill Anton