For: Jean Steinhardt, Illustrator, 1221 Bomar, Houston, TX 77006
Contact: Jean Steinhardt, 

DATELINE: Houston, Texas, 14 March 2013


Like billions of babies, artist Jean Steinhardt loved to draw and color from the first moment he was handed a crayon. The love affair persisted into adulthood. But he did not take art classes. He is largely self-taught. You will see this as you view the drawings in a new eBook by artist. 

Titled “Picturing the Heights,” the book includes nearly all of the Heights house portraits Jean has produced since 1983.

The earlier house portraits are somewhat crude. As the years passed and his skills improved, they became more polished.

Why did he refuse to take training in art? He simply did not want anybody to tell him what to do. In that sense, his personality is perfectly aligned with the personality of the Heights.

Like him, the Heights, which began as an independent community, did not want to be told what to do. So when the Heights became a part of the City of Houston, it did so on condition that the Heights would remain “dry.” To this day, restaurants located within the official boundaries of the Heights are not allowed to sell alcoholic beverages.

Many of the drawings in this collection lie outside the official boundaries. Unofficially, however, the Heights has grown to include a large number of homes with a distinctive flavor. When a resident says “I live in the Heights,” they do so with justifiable pride.

Jean’s wife Suzette got him into house portraits. He had been selling watercolor figure studies at the Heights Festival. She pointed out that many of the people who attended the Festival live in the Heights in old homes that they had bought and renovated. She was sure that they would be interested in commissioning an artist to make a drawing of their home. She suggested that he might be just the artist to do so. And thus was born a house portraitist.

Visit Jean’s Web at to view and download a free copy of this wonderful glimpse of one of Houston’s most historic neighborhoods.

Jean Steinhardt, Artist,