Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Best Painting of Stephen Gjertson in American Style

Stephen Gjertson was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1949, the eldest son of Arthur and Betty Gjertson. Gjertson’s family loved to read, so it’s not surprising that his first exposure to the visual arts came from books. “We owned a set of encyclopedias that reproduced many works of art. We also had novels illustrated by artists such as N. C. Wyeth, Norman Rockwell, Howard Pyle and Dean Cornwell. I remember reading those books and copying the illustrations. Later, my interest in the Old West led me to history books and stories with paintings by Frederic Remington, Charles Schreyvogel and Nicholas Eggenhofer, whose pictures I also copied. For birthdays I received books on the great masters. The work of Michelangelo, Titian and Rembrandt made a lasting impression on me. That, I said to myself, is what I want to do.”

Best Painting of Stephen Gjertson in American Style 

Gjertson’s love for nature was born in the fields, woods and cliffs along the Kettle River in Sandstone, Minnesota, the home of his parents and grandparents. He filled his sketchbooks with drawings of trees, rocks and the ruins of old buildings scattered throughout the overgrown quarry and the surrounding countryside. He decided to make art his profession while drawing Pilgrims at Thanksgiving in the third grade. At age 10, he received his first box of oil paints for Christmas. His art teachers in both junior and senior high school encouraged the young Gjertson. After graduating, he attended the University of Minnesota, where he played drums in the Football Marching Band. The art department at the university was hostile to what he wanted to do as an artist, and instructors told him to not pursue the outmoded principles of traditional art. Discouraged, he left and attended art school for one year. There, he encountered the same senseless fascination with negative, theory-centric art and learned nothing of practical value. In 1971 he met Richard Lack and studied art seriously until 1975 at Atelier Lack, a studio-school based upon the teaching of the 19th century French ateliers and the Boston impressionists. In 1978 he met Kirk Richards, who was studying at Atelier Lack.


Stephen Gjertson and Kirk Richards have been close friends since they met in 1978. They were both trained by Richard Lack at Atelier Lack in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Gjertson from 1971-75 and Richards from 1976-80. The two have been painting and exhibiting together for twenty-five years, beginning with the seminal Classical Realism: The Other Twentieth Century, a large, traveling exhibition held at the Springville Museum of Art, The Amarillo Art Center and The Maryhill Museum of Art in 1982-83. They were members of The American Society of Classical Realism Guild of Artists and were part of Beauty: A Rebirth of Relevance, a four-person exhibition held at the Newington-Cropsey Gallery of Art in 1996. In 2003 they co-wrote For Glory and For Beauty: Practical Perspectives on Christianity and the Visual Arts. In 2003 they had a successful two-person exhibition, For Glory and For Beauty, at the Biblical Arts Center in Dallas.
In 2004 Richards suggested to Gjertson the possibility of finding another artist with whom they could exhibit.
Bedtime Story
After The Bath
The Recorder Lesson
The Newborn
Sleeping Beauty
The Miracle
Asleep At Last

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