Artist Steven Lee Adams
Steven spent three years at Brigham Young University, being accepted into the Bachelor of Fine Arts program in his first semester, an honor usually reserved for third year students. He has garnered many awards, including Best of Show at The 66th Annual April Salon, Utahs most prestigious art show. In 1989, Steven discovered a kindred spirit in the work of Edward Willis Redfield, a deceased Bucks County PA. artist whose fearless approach to plein air and lively application of paint suited his personal temperament. Whistler and Rothko have also had an impact on Stevens approach to the work. He especially views John Henry Twachtmans later work as a powerful, spiritual inspiration but his grandmother, who first introduced him to oil paint and the palette knife at the age of 11, is the person he credits with giving him the opportunity to learn and explore the craft he cherishes. Many feel his work is tied closely with the Tonalist artists who worked at the turn of the last century. Their primary focus was the spiritual undertones of landscapes, the most notable artist of this movement being George Inness although Stevens favorite is Bruce Crane. In his studio paintings Steven is searching for the intangible feeling of timelessness that lies beneath the surface of what may seem commonplace. His plein air work on site is more akin to the impressionists who tried essentially to capture the atmosphere of a specific moment in time. Each technique enhances the other since different lessons are learned within each discipline. Steven initially built, carved, and gilded many of his frames and is still hands on in overseeing this process and like Whistler considers the presentation of art an integral part of the whole, designing frame styles and finishes that he feels enhance the overall impact of each piece. Stevens are introspective paintings, urging us to look deeper; not only for the subtleties in nature around us, but also the simple yet complex world of spirit and emotion within each of us.