of AskART: Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Ross Stefan became a painter of western scenes in traditional style. His subjects are Southwestern desert and mountain landscapes and stereotypical figures of that part of the country. He had his first one-man show at age 13 and then living in Wisconsin, was much influenced by a studio visit to Dan Muller, an illustrator. In 1953, when he was a teenager, he moved to Tucson, Arizona with his family, and his father worked in advertising, which furthered Stefan's interest in illustration art. He studied art and philosophy at the University of Arizona and did part-time sketching for the Tucson newspaper. Norman Rockwell was one of his early heroes. Encouraged by Ivan Rosequist, pioneer Arizona art dealer in Tucson, Stefan quit his unproductive activities in the University of Arizona art department and set out on his own as a fine artist. Source: Peggy and Harold Samuels, "The Illustrated Biographical Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West"