Steven Stoltenberg

It began six years ago with a dream. I dreamt I was painting an abstract wall-sized painting in brilliant colors and felt a tremendous euphoria as I applied more and more color. The dream was so vivid I decided it was a message from deep within my psyche that I needed to listen to.

It took about a year after buying some basic materials before I took the leap and started to experiment on canvas. Experimentation has been the key — I try a different technique of applying paint each time I approach the canvas. If something "works" I incorporate it into the next painting. I have only taken one painting course so I am largely self-taught. I take comfort from what one of my favorite painters, Richard Diebenkorn, once said: "All artists are really self-taught."

I am drawn to abstract painting because it has the capacity to evoke intense intellectual, emotional, and spiritual sentiments.  The viewer cannot rely on a figurative reference to ascertain meaning; he or she must examine the painting in a sustained, meditative way to unlock the "logic" of what they are viewing.  Examining the interplay of composition and color, as well as the hidden aspects of technique, are all part of constructing the meaning of an abstract painting. So is the "dialog" that every work of art conducts with all other works of art, historical, and contemporary. Ultimately the meaning of a work will be unique to each and every person. The titles of my works are only suggestive and not meant to steer the viewer towards one particular interpretation or another.

I would like my journey to serve as an inspiration for anyone who has wanted to try their hand at (abstract) painting but has felt intimidated or felt it was beyond their ability.  If you have the desire, the discipline, and the perseverance, I believe that anyone can create something of beauty.

All of my paintings are available for purchase. If you see something that speaks to you, feel free to contact me!

Steven Stoltenberg.
the artist