Solano did not begin his painting career until he turned 40 and without formal art training. Solano briefly attended the University of Colorado before being drafted and spending a year in Viet Nam as an Infantry Sergeant.
After leaving the army he worked in a steel mill, as a roofer, and waiter/bartender until he was hired as an illustrator for an ad agency. Eventually he became an art director for several advertising agencies in Colorado and Florida. In 1989, he returned to Colorado and began to paint full-time; in between painting Nathan “cowboyed” for several years. That experience got him painting the cowboy life. Although he is widely known for his western and Native American paintings, he paints a variety of subject matter.