Howard Rogers wanted to be an artist for as long as he could remember. “I had no idea what an artist was when I was a kid,” he laughs. “But I had a distant cousin who had gone to art school and I saw some of his drawings. They really impressed me.” Born and raised in San Diego, California, Rogers now focuses on the future: “I kind of enjoy today and tomorrow and to heck with yesterday.”
While in high school, Rogers took some art classes and served as an apprentice sign painter, eventually becoming a journeyman. He was also a member of his high school track team, competing in the high jump, the hurdles and cross-country, as well as doing some bike racing. Following a stint in the Army, he began training for the Olympics in bike racing, trying out in 1948, 1952 and 1956. Today, “I ride a stationary bike in front of my easel three times a week.”
After trying out for the 1956 Olympics, Rogers married his wife Bonnie and attended the Art Center in Los Angeles, graduating with distinction in advertising illustration. The couple then headed to Detroit, Michigan, where Rogers worked for several art studios, as well as illustrating for several national magazines as a freelance illustrator. In 1971, the couple moved to Connecticut, where Rogers focused on his illustration work, doing pieces for magazines such as Good Housekeeping, Ladies Home Journal, Readers Digest and Cosmopolitan, as well as book covers for Simon & Schuster.
In 1979, the Rogers spent time at a guest ranch in Wyoming and the next year, Rogers did his first oil painting. The two events came together to move the artist in a direction that would bring him undisputed success in the fine art world. In 1985, the Rogers moved to Bozeman, Montana, and soon after, Rogers tried his hand at sculpting.
Art, no matter the medium, is Rogers’ passion. Besides painting, sculpting and landscaping, he is also talented at woodcarving. He carved the headboard of his bed, the dining room table and buffet and the front door of his home.
Reference: Art of the West May/June 1996