We had the good fortune of connecting with Wood Fancher Anthony and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Wood Fancher, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I was born and raised in Houston, TX to a Mexican mother from Zacatecas, Mexico and an Anglo American father from East Texas. My Father’s family did not completely approve of his marriage to a Mexican. Because of this, I was raised exclusively by my mother, all of her sisters and maternal grandmother in a Mexican household. I have spent my entire life surrounded by my mother’s family and robust Mexican culture. Throughout my life, I have been on countless trips to visit family in Zacatecas, Mexico. I have always been moved by the richness of my mother’s culture. From a young age I was exposed to a vastly different ways of life, ideas and customs. My experiences have had a profound impact me; they shaped who I am as a person, as an artist and solidified my love for Mexico. I have lived my life in a world of bold colors, farm animals, incredible cuisine, Mexican art and Catholicism, elements that can be found in my art to this day.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
One of my earliest memories is of my mother showing me how to draw flowers with crayons. As early as elementary school my teachers recognized my abilities and even arranged time for me to develop my abilities during class while other students took regular lessons. Later on in middle and high school I chose to take art classes as electives. I participated and was recognized in the Houston Rodeo Art Show several times. Although I did not take art classes in college I did start to paint outside of my college courses. After college I took a job as an accountant and I started to draw and paint a lot more than I ever had in my life. In 2005, with the help of scholarships I took two drawing classes at the Glassell School of Art in Houston, Texas. I had been studying art my entire life. Despite the fact that I took art classes in high school and drawing classes at the Glassell, I am completely self-taught. Over the years, I have learned to use various mediums. I am now almost exclusively an oil painter and I can execute realism. In 2019 I left my job as an accountant to be a full-time artist. The stress of the accounting career left me with Fibromyalgia. My journey has been difficult, but so much more fulfilling and rewarding.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my best friend was visiting Houston, I’d like to take him to places so that he could experience things he does not have access to living in Mexico. Destinations would include our world class museums and art galleries. Houston has an incredible restaurant scene. We have the culinary world in our back yard. There are unlimited great places to eat and drink. Picking places would be difficult. I would also like to take him to the Texas Hill Country for a few days so he could experience the tranquility and beauty of Texas.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to give a shout out to Fresh Arts Houston. Fresh Arts is an organization that helps rising artists shine alongside their peers by breaking through common barriers that could otherwise impede the advancement of their careers. Fresh Arts programs have helped advance my career through education and building a community of creatives that has facilitated access to resources, knowledge, and audiences. I would also like to thank all the artists at The Hardy & Nance Studios in Houston, Texas. Without their constant love, support and friendship I would not be where I am at today.
Christian J. Ortega