Stephen C Datz
A Colorado native, Stephen grew up in Loveland, a small town on the northern Front Range. “The creative impulse — the desire to draw, to paint — has been with me since I was old enough to hold a pencil,” he recalls. “As a kid, I was strongly encouraged to focus on science and math in my education. I had shown some aptitude in those areas, and the conventional wisdom was that 'artist' was not a viable career path. I soon realized, after a semester trying to “push the river” at Carnegie-Mellon University as an applied mathematics student, that I needed to follow my inborn gifts and see where they took me.“
Earning a BFA in Graphic Design from Colorado State University in 1992, Stephen married, moved to the small mountain town of Carbondale, Colorado, and immediately began the work of establishing himself as a serious career artist. “Early on, I had no studio, so all my work was done strictly 'en plein air”', says Stephen. “I still rely on direct field observations of nature for my inspiration, but I find that plein-air work is increasingly a place to start rather than finish.”
About his work, Stephen says “I prefer to let my work speak for itself — to let the viewer engage and reach their own conclusions. The important thing to me is the process. That's where the 'art' happens. That process evolves out of a journey of self-discovery, and its attendant challenges. Each painting is a learning experience. So I approach each one with humility and a duty to be authentic — to be true to myself in every way. As painter and teacher Charles Webster Hawthorne said, 'You can have no formulas for anything; search constantly. Do not learn to do things - keep on inquiring how.“'
To date Stephen has had twenty-four solo exhibitions at galleries across the southwest and his work has appeared in dozens of group exhibitions around the country, most notably at the Gilcrease Museum, Albuquerque Museum, Laguna Art Museum, National Museum of Wildlife Art, and Salmagundi Club in NYC. His most recent accomplishments include being invited to participate in the prestigious American Masters exhibition at the Salmagundi Club, and having one of his works become part of the U.S. State Department's “Art in the Embassies” program, which places the work of American artists in our embassies and missions around the globe.
Stephen's work has also been featured in articles in numerous regional and national art publications, including Southwest Art, Western Art Collector, Plein Air, and Western Art & Architecture. He is represented by galleries throughout the four corners region and resides in Fruita, Colorado.
Visit Stephen's Website