Atkinson’s career as an illustrator of 25 years has served him well in his transition to fine artist and full time painter. But, as an illustrator, something was missing. “Painting has opened up a whole new world to me. Now I’m able to capture moments of the things that matter to me. It’s all about the story and emotion behind the painting. In this country, there is no better example of the American Spirit than the cowboy and the others who tamed the West. My paintings are a tribute to those men and women, past and present. There is something timeless about them. In many remote ranches, the way they do things now, isn’t terribly different from how they got done more than a hundred and thirty years ago. To me, good painting has always been as much about how the artist paints, as it is about the painting’s message. Atkinson lives in Arizona with his wife Ann, where he finds endless inspiration in the Western landscape.