Untitled Document

Artist Biography

Originally from Bastrop, Texas, Salinas later moved to San Antonio where he found employment at a graphics firm. Here he came into contact with the artists Robert Wood and José Arpa, who took Salinas on his first painting excursions. Wood, a landscapist, apparently disliked depicting bluebonnets, and would pay Salinas five dollars for each canvas the young artist would paint them on. This early commission became the catalyst for a lifetime of work.

Salinas’ career developed slowly during the Depression, but gained momentum soon after his meeting with the art dealer Dewey Bradford. Through his representation, Salinas’ work became increasingly popular, even collected by President Lyndon B. Johnson, whose patronage led the artist’s reputation to spread beyond the borders of Texas. In the year of his death, 1973, the city of Austin dedicated a day in his honor for having “done much to bring the culture of Mexico and Texas closer together with his paintings.”

The artist’s work resides in the collections of the Sangre DeCristo Arts Center of Pueblo Colorado, the R.W. Norton Art Gallery of Shreveport, Louisiana, and the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, Texas.