Stephen Datz

Artist Bio

I endeavor to approach my work with, as jazz musician Stan Getz put it, “an unpretentiousness, spontaneity, and poetry of honest emotion.”

A dedicated plein-air landscape painter, I work on location year-round. Plein-air painting, for me, is about more than simply finding picturesque subjects for my brush. It is a journey of discovery, rooted in a solitary, contemplative approach to Nature.

I love exploring the western U.S. and I am fascinated by the diversity of subjects that it offers. The thrill for me comes from remaining receptive to the ideas that the landscape suggests, rather than approaching it with a set agenda. Nature is full of surprises – accidents of light, chance juxtapositions of color, subtle and interesting effects of weather – there is such an abundance of uncontrived inspiration.

Though I have studied with several well known plein-air painters, I have always felt it critical to strike out from the safe harbor of the influences and advice of my teachers and develop my own way to express myself in my work – a voice that blends, in a visually distinctive way, the sciences of color and design with the emotional content of experiences and subjects that matter to me.

Whether field studies or studio paintings, the essence of my work is a purity of motive. The things I paint are personal to me. I’m not painting for someone else, or for a market niche. My work is the record of moments and places I cherish for their own sake and on their own terms. I strive, each time I pick up my brush, to infuse into the painting some sense of the joy I have taken in each subject.

Edward Abbey once remarked that “the landscape, like a man or woman, acquires character through time and endurance.” In that spirit, I endeavor to make my paintings glimpses beyond the surface of subject and artist and into the essential nature of both.

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Day One

Name:WITWIPA 2017 Day 1
Medium:Oil on Linen

Day Two

Name:WITWIPA 2017 Day 2

Day Three

Name:WITWIPA 2017 Day 3