Fredrick Stephens is not afraid to trudge through the mud for miles on end to relive the magic of childhood and discover the perfect setting for his next oil painting. Stephens is known for merging land with light, culminating in unique landscape paintings that bridge traditional tonal elegance with contemporary flare.
Stephens’ paintings reflect his deep connection to the flowing pastures, peaks and horizons of rural Central Utah, a place he returns to often for artistic inspiration and reunion with family and friends. His creations reveal layers of depth through the use of varying earth tones, and he often combines splashes of vivid color to captivate the observer. Regarding his approach to painting, Stephens remarks, “I like to play off colors and tones, and to evoke a mood in people.”
With each painting Stephens seeks to capture the flame of childhood curiosity; a time when innocence, excitement and contentment with the world around us echo and inspire our every motion. Stephens’ painting style embodies a maturity reminiscent of past and present masters. The works of George Inness and other critically acclaimed mentors have encouraged him to surpass artistic categories, adding new and refreshing flavors to traditional tonal techniques.
Stephens’ refreshing painting style is due partly to his brave entry into the professional art community. A few years ago, he took a leap and emptied his joint bank account, with his wife’s blessing, so that he could attend a well-known artist’s workshop. Unable to afford hotel accommodations, he chose instead to reside in a barn down the road. To this day, Stephens remains true to his roots, expressing great humility and gratitude for his family and mentors along the way.
In September of 2007, Stephens was featured in Southwest Art magazine’s “21 Under 31,” an annual highlight of the top 21 artists under 31 years old who possess great promise. He regularly participates in exhibitions throughout the Southwest and beyond. Stephens remains grounded in his purpose by striving to look at life through a child’s eyes, continually capturing the awe in simplicity. As he says: “Simple is amazing!”