About the artist |
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Studio is located at:
East Creative Collective, 211 SE Madison St (at 2nd), Portland, Oregon
Phone: 503 726 6270
Bio, History, and Motivation:
Steve Dehlinger is primarily a graphic and abstract painter, currently working with acrylic on canvas, and pen/ink/watercolor for his drawings.
His current work observes how we relate with objects we use everyday. Steve tugs at our memories and emotions with images of those favorite worn tools and trusty old appliances not to mention the favorite old toys. Steve creates icons from those comforting objects like a special cup of coffee or cozy pot of tea, symbols that warms you inside physically and comforts your soul. Steve feels his major influences and inspirations are Wayne Thiebaud, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol and Mark Rothko, to mention just a few of the well know abstract expressionists and pop-art icons. Steve also feels influenced by his contemporaries especially in the local art community.
Some of his abstract images hint at a landscape or representation, not always a conscious effort. What people see in the paintings always surprises and delights him. Steve hopes the viewer feels an emotional response to the colors, shapes, images, and textures. Contrasts of large color areas against blocks of visual and dimensional textures have been a great focus of Steve's color-field work.
Steve credits the mediocre eyesight of his early youth with helping him see the world in large blocks of color and shapes, (at some point adults decided he should get eyeglasses). His childhood home was filled with a blend of Japanese and Scandinavian design elements, as a result, those simple abstract designs continue to influence the large washes of colors in his work and both calm and excite him at the same time.
Starting in his teens (1970's), Steve studied many art disciplines ranging from illustration and painting (landscapes, portraits, still lifes, etc.), to cartooning and commercial graphic design. His college studies directed him towards a commercial art degree which led to being a freelance commercial artist for the next few decades. Through the 1980's and 1990's, along with a lot of freelance graphic design work, Steve also raced BMX bicycles full time from ages 16 to 41 to keep disciplined, focused, yet playful. By the late 90's, he had burned out from top-level bicycle competition and the commercial art industry had also run it's course for him. Steve found that he wanted to move away from the creative limitations of a structured graphic design environment, yet embrace the graphic elements of it. Thirteen years ago, Steve decided to get back to his fine art roots and opened a studio to reacquaint himself with canvas and brush, to explore unlimited freedom of expression again. He has re-embraced elements of commercial art and childhood memories and incorporated them into much of his new work allowing him to grow with his past as a whole person.
Steve shows and sells his work through various local art/craft shows and events and galleries.