Steven paints and lives in Freeland, WA, with his partner. Since 1977 Steven has worked full time as an artist and taught landscape painting every now and then. Painting is his mode of expression and how he makes meaning of his life. His emotions reside in his paintings. The late professor and critic of American Art, Robert Olpin, referred to Steven as “ a metaphorical expressionist.” Steven accepts that that is indeed how he approaches the natural world. He works in both oils and soft pastels and enjoys their differences. He loves to be lost in the collaboration of a new work and how it shapes and reshapes both himself and his art.
He studied drawing and painting at the University of Utah with Frank Anthony “Tony” Smith who taught him about form, line, and how to create a three dimensional illusion. Steven also studied with V. Douglas Snow who taught him about color and methods of putting paint onto a canvas. Steven’s direction changed when he took a figure class from Alvin Gittins. Alvin was iconic in the figure world, which was just beginning to regain status as an art form after having been pushed aside by Abstract Expressionism. Alvin was a portrait painter in a ”traditional” manner and approached the human form with love and appreciation for its varieties. Steven studied with Alvin Gittins for three years until he graduated with a BFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Utah.
My influences are many and my interest is way beyond the usual “pretty picture” that is normal in much of representational art in the 21st century. If a subject does not grip me it often is much more difficult to paint or draw. I respect and love Rembrandt as an artist almost above all others. He is the painter whose art is almost always the measure that I fall far short of. My art heroes also include Velazquez, Caravaggio, El Greco and Pontormo. Portrait painters Sir Henry Raeburn, Joshua Reynolds and perhaps the greatest portraitist of all time John Singer Sargent. Landscape painters JMW Turner, Corot, Monet and my favorite George Inness. I also love the work of Motherwell, Rothko, Francis Bacon, Anselm Kiefer and Odd Nerdrum.
I keep working on my art because this brings me understanding of the world and my relationship to it.