More about the artist: Steve Ladd

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Steve is most at home on location. “If I can’t look at my composition and don’t see it, I make it up and that’s a different painting for a different time.”

You Won’t See Painting the Same Way Again

A California native and ex-USPS letter carrier of over 30 years, Steve is an oil painter, first and foremost, but also paints in other media, including watercolor. He is also known to pick up the pastels now and then.

His formal art training was a CSU Chico, where he earned a BA and MA, with graduate studies at the University of Uppsala, Sweden.

He taught painting and drawing at the California Students For Study Abroad Program at the University of Uppsala, Sweden for one year, and also taught these subjects at a Swedish night school for adults called Kursverksamheten for a year.

He came back from Europe , got married, got serious, and quit painting from 1983-2004 to be a dad and raise an amazing son and daughter, the best thing he ever did. Then painting resurfaced once more with Buon Fresco (painting on fresh lime putty), the most outdated and outlandish painting medium one can tackle in modern times. It was a long-held dream and the thing that got him ‘brushing’ again. After five years of many notable failures learning how to do this medium he threw in the trowel and returned to the tried and true medium of oil painting. He won’t forsake this great greasy stuff again in this lifetime.

Along with memorable landscapes and stunning river-scapes and seascapes, portraiture and studio painting are his foundational formats. Many of his paintings come with custom frames, each taking in some cases almost as long to create as its cradled painting. His process is old world and old school, done up right. See more.

He has had gallery shows and/or commissions and installations in Uppsala, Sweden  and Eureka, Chico, Redway and Stockton California.

Steve’s philosophy about art: “I paint for self-forgetfulness as much as for self-expression. It’s a good way to look out at life rather than thinking about myself all the time. Painting also helps me to know what I see, otherwise I’m just looking without seeing. And it’s a great way to be surprised. There seems to be a hidden design in nature that unfolds during the process of going from start to finish, from finished to more finished, from more finished to finally finished, and from finally finished to finally-finally finished. Things keep getting revealed. And I could go on forever discovering and resolving a picture, so I must keep in mind the very first inspiration that I had and ask myself: ‘What was it that hit me in the first place? What did I see, or want to see, at the very beginning?’ It’s like the blind man who picked up his hammer and saw,…the hammer in my case being a paint brush.”

Click here to see Steve’s galleries.

Also read what Steve has to say about life/art.