Bio... or something like that

We called her Mrs. "Z". She was my oldest friend on the face of the earth. Mrs. "Z" was over the nursery at the church where my parents attended. It was 1958. Fast forward to a couple of years ago - I visited her in her hospital room where she was dying. She told me, again, about the time I was about 4 years old. My mother came to her for advice because she was worried about her son. She told Mrs. "Z" that all I wanted to do was draw pictures, and my mother wanted to know what to do, if that was normal. Mrs. "Z" said "let him draw..." Right up until her death she always encouraged me to develop the gift that God had given. This pursuit has been quiet a journey.

Psalm 139 says that we are "knit together in our mother's womb". God has made us a particular way, and He made me with a bent to create artwork. The abilities I am always laboring to develop are a gift from God and I thank Him for those abilities and gifts.

Since those early days when I stayed in the church nursery, I have drawn, painted, chiseled and built. I have worked in pencil, watercolor, acrylics, inks and dyes, chalk and currently I am working to develop an understanding of oils.

I have had no formal art training, so I can't fill this space with deep thoughts of color harmony or shape or form or anything like that. And to say I am self-taught would not be true either. The "self" that dosen't "know", certainly can not teach himself. I am learning what I can from those who have traveled before me, those who have learned a great deal more than me and are willing to share. I do appreciate those artist and painters I have had the privalege of meeting who have shared their knowledge with me.

In past years I have worked as an illustrator at a curriculum publishing company, worked as a free-lance illustrator, worked as an animator and graphic designer with a multi-media company. I've created children's magazine illustrations, book illustrations, book jacket designs and painted works on commission. During one segment of this journey I airbrushed vans, motorcycle tanks, T-shirts and a 40 foot mural.

My current subject matter is varied; I simply love to paint God's creation, past and present; be it animals, people or the landscape. For me, art must have some kind of meaning, perhaps tell a story. I am drawn to subjects that are rich in purpose that may be hidden below the surface. The look in the eyes of a hard working cowboy. The beauty in the pedals of a flower. A pair of well worn boots resting on a wooden floor. Things like an old abandoned barn or house that once heard the laughter of those who called the place "home". Places and things that speak deeply of life ... ideas that live beyond the paint on the canvas.

To Contact: steve@journeyinoils.com

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Paint Out in Waxahachie, Texas - 2008
Image Bearer won best of show in 2008 Visual Arts Society of Texas 40th Annual Visual Arts Exhibition
Plein Air Ramblings...
Paint Out in Waxahachie, Texas - 06-07

The French expression en plein air means "in the open air" and is most used to describe the act of painting outside in the environment. It is by far the most enjoyable painting experience. Most who try it once are hooked.

Part of the appeal for painting "en plein air" is the natural light. While painting from photos gives the artist more unrushed time, photos do not capture all the subtle colors and depth that can be observed in nature.

Usually, plein air paintings are done quickly, within a couple of hours and are painted on smaller panels or canvas, rarely no larger than a 12" x 16". The primary reason for the short time and small painting surface is the ever-changing light. Light and shadows will change dramatically in a 2 hours span of time.

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