Gene Speck is something of a phenomenon
as a painter in that he is virtually self taught. Born in South
Dakota in 1936, he did not turn his attention towards the arts
until the age of 35. Successful in a variety of careers, it
was through watching his brother in local art shows that he
decided to begin painting. Art came easily to him, like a natural
gift, and his first paintings showed talent. Speck presented
his talents in a street art show and sold several paintings.
With this encouragement he decided to aim his sights towards
becoming a professional artist and turned his full attention
and discipline upon refining his skills.
Speck moved to Nevada in 1976 to fulfill his dream of owning
and working on a ranch. He lived and painted on his ranch in
Dayton for 10 years. From 1987 till 1992, Gene made his home
in the pine trees of Mount Rose. In 1989, Gene opened Silver
State Gallery in Reno. As a nationally known artist, he has
shown in galleries across the United States, including Aspen
since 1992. He now lives in the peace and quiet of Nevada.
Speck’s paintings are nostalgic in that he paints scenes
from the Great Plains that he saw all around him as a child.
His depictions of ranch scenes and Indian encampments evoke
peaceful and tranquil impressions. Visiting the beautiful terrain
of the western states with its majestic mountains, deserts and
meadows, he creates compositions that appear true to life, with
a special sensitivity and spirit that convey a feeling of timelessness
and space. “What incredible detail!” This is the
often voiced comment heard from viewers clustered around a Speck
painting. The viewers contemplate the pieces in a virtual silence,
disturbed only by occasional murmuring and whispering of …”How
does he do it?”