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 for a young man. But ultimately I decided to follow my 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’.
I continue to paint on-location, but my approach is not dogmatic”, 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 think it is best to let my work speak for itself. About all I can say is this: the important thing to me is the process – the journey of discovery and the challenges that presents. That is where the art lies, where the raw material of what I see gets distilled and refined through my heart and mind into a fully realized concept. If I’ve done my job right then what ends up on canvas is an evocative glimpse of something new – a compelling vision that reveals the essential character of both subject and artist.”
Stephen’s work has been the subject of twenty solo exhibitions and has appeared in dozens of group exhibitions around the country, including shows 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 exclusive and 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 inFruita, Colorado.