Ross Stefan’s father worked in advertising in Milwaukee. He was very supportive of his son’s artistic ambitions. At 13, Ross had his first art exhibition, which, as it happened, was a smash. Six years later, perhaps because of Ross’s health, the family moved to Arizona. In Arizona, Stefan took classes for two years, then struck out on his own. He built a studio in Tubac and venturing out from there to interpret the West and its people.
Stefan’s trademark wide strokes and bright palette always impart a good deal of movement to his paintings, and this is readily apparent in Carlita. The folds of her pink dress are almost translucent in the sun, while the adobe walls of the pueblo appear mottled and multicolored. Carlita has a shynness in her expression, and her turned in foot is a sweet symbol of her youth. How she is dressed and what she holds tell us that she will dance in a ceremony, but she seems a bit timid, as if this is, perhaps, her first time.
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