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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.


My father's family came from a line of Scottish farmers who landed in North Carolina as a result of the Highland Clearances. Gabriel Johnston, then royal governor of North Carolina and a Scot himself, encouraged other highlanders to come to America. My 4th great grandfather, John McCoy (McKay), fought in the American Revolution from 1777-1780. In 1798 John and his family migrated west to Tennessee. After John's death, the family migrated to Indiana, Iowa, and finally Colorado.

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 a 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." 


"Over the years I have explored a variety of subjects and used different methods and materials to illustrate my ideas. It has been an experimental process to determine my path.  I've found that using still life as a platform is the best way to express myself. Realism is my preference for illustrating those ideas.


 Western subjects have become my focus. This coincides with family research for the past eight years, which has put me back in touch with my roots. I was born in  Colorado, and grew up in both New Mexico and Texas. Those formative years filled me with a love for the West, and helped to shape my vision. Being from pioneer families legitimizes my involvement. These are the places where stories originated and where the ruins remain. I continually return to these places to feel inspired and rejuvenated. Adding to that resource is a library of books and movies that have influenced me personally, and our culture as a whole.


In painting terms I am a "realist". One art critic described me as a "hyper realist".

I use professional grade oils, because of their flexibility and luminosity. I prepare every surface I work on by hand, and use custom stretchers or panels. In the final stages, I use glazes, which few people understand today. Most of all, I work from life, not from photographs. I continually look for and collect vintage and antique items that can be used as subjects."


1981             MFA University of Houston
1974            BFA University of Houston

1965 -66     Lon Morris College, Jacksonville, TX, Scholarship (Acting)


  • Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

  • Valero Energy Corporation

  • Reliant Energy Corporation, formerly Houston Industries Inc.

  • Ultramar Diamond Shamrock

  • Enron

  • Schreiner University

  • Texas Brangus Breeders Association

  • Highland Coors

  • Vinson and Elkins Law Firm

  • M-Bank

  • University of Houston, College of Business

  • Bracewell and Patterson Law Firm

  • USAA

  • The Houstonian Estates

  • Winstead, McGuire, Secrest and Minck Law Firm

  • Numerous Private Collections


  • Robert McCoy/Anne Moore, Two Person Exhibit., Harris Gallery, Houston, TX

  • Myla Bertinot/Robert McCoy, Williams Tower, Houston, TX,

    • Curated by Sally Sprout

  • “Remembrances”, Harris Gallery, Houston, TX

  • “Transitional Realities” Harris Gallery, Houston, TX

  • “Robert McCoy, Works from 1976-1996”, Aviart Gallery, San Antonio, TX

  • “Robert McCoy Paintings”, Harris Gallery, Houston, TX


Rice University, Houston, TX, Visiting Lecturer

Glassell School of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Dean of Faculty

Bennington College, Bennington, VT, Summer Faculty

University of Houston, Houston, TX, Teaching Fellow

San Jacinto College, Houston, TX

New Orleans Academy of Art, New Orleans, LA

Private Instructor, Rome, Italy

Private Instructor, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico


  • “Frivolity and Mortality: The Tradition of Vanitas in Contemporary Painting”, Sherry French Gallery, New York, NY

    • Traveled to:

      • Silvermine Guild, New Canaan, CT

      • Noyes Museum of Art, Stockton University, Oceanville, NJ

      • Utah Museum of Fine Art, Salt Lake City, UT

      • Triton Museum, Santa Clara, CA

      • Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, TN

      • Valparaiso University Museum of Art, Valparaiso, IN

      • Tyler Art Gallery, Oswego, NY

      • Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY

      • Oklahoma Arts Center, Oklahoma City, OK

  • “Fresh Paint: The Houston School” Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Curated by Barbara Rose, Traveled to: PS1 New York, NY

  • “Contemporary Art: The Big Picture”, Karan Ruhlen Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

  • “The Life of Inanimate Objects” Karan Ruhlen Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

  • International Exhibition of Texas Artists, Conference of the Association of College Unions, Houston, TX

  • “Contemporary Realities” Karan Ruhlen Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

  • “Selections 1986” Dishman Gallery, Lamar University, Beumont, TX

  • “Emerging Realists: East Meets South”, College of the Mainland, Texas City, TX

  • “The Life of Inanimate Objects” Karan Ruhlen Gallery, Santa Fe, NM “Cultural Influence”, Karan Ruhlen Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

  • “The Anatomy of Drawing”, Hooks Epstein Gallery, Houston, TX

  • “5th Year Anniversary Show”, Texas Treasures Fine Art Gallery, Boerne, TX

  • “Texas Aesthetic X”, William Reaves/Sarah Foltz Fine Art Gallery, Houston TX

  • Numerous Faculty Exhibitions


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