“Get a life worth living, and then paint your autobiography.” An artist I deeply respect passed on those words to me, and so I paint those things that are part of my life and that keep my work honest -- small-town life and its values.
I have found that those familiar with that lifestyle are proud of their experience, while those who are not still very much admire the idea of less complicated living associated with a more rural way of life. For this reason, my work has the ability to appeal to a broad group of people.
The old masters, who shaped classical painting, worked in oils. In order to carry on their tradition, I too use oils as my working medium. Stylistically, I enjoy the absoluteness that comes with representational art versus the relativity of abstraction. However, allowing some visible brushstrokes and colors characteristic of impressionism helps further distance my paintings from photography. Combining all these methods is the means by which I can best create paintings that bring scenes of age-old living to a new-age world.
Fine artist Stephen Rotella limns a portrait of small-town living and the values associated with it. He received training in both painting and illustration from California State University, Channel Islands, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in studio art in 2012.
Rotella studied under painter Jack Reilly and is the recipient of numerous awards such as the Ventura Harbor Village Gallery Merit Award and Best of Show at the Fresno County Fair Art Exhibit. After studying abroad in France and Italy, Rotella’s passion for representational art was revitalized.
His works can be found in private collections along the Western United States and Italy and have been featured in exhibitions at the Paris American Academy in Paris, France, the Palm Gallery in Camarillo, California, and online in Artist Portfolio Magazine.
Rotella, 23, splits his time between Fresno and Ventura counties.
CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, CHANNEL ISLANDS, Camarillo, CA 2012
Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art
REEDLEY COLLEGE, Reedley, California 2010
Associate of Arts in General Studies
FRESNO COUNTY FAIR ART EXHIBIT, Fresno, California 2000-2012
PARIS AMERICAN ACADEMY, Paris, France 2012
CSU CHANNEL ISLANDS, Camarillo, California 2011-2012
“CSUCI Student Show”
PALM GALLERY, Camarillo, California 2012
“Hooked on the Nineties: Back in the Game”
“Wish You Were Here: Paintings From Abroad”
VENTURA COUNTY ARTS COUNCIL, Ventura, California 2012
VENTURA VILLAGE HARBOR GALLERY, Ventura, California 2012
LIGHT, SPACE, & TIME ONLINE GALLERY, Online 2011
“Countryside Art Exhibition”
ARTIST PORTFOLIO MAGAZINE, ISSUE 2, Pg. 56 April 2011
Farmer’s Plight, 18” x 24”, Oil on Canvas
DREAMS OF THE IMAGINATION, Volume 1, Pg. 118 September 2001
Michael Jordan, 8 1/2” x 11”, Graphite on Paper
HONORS & AWARDS
- First Place: Fresno County Fair Art Exhibit 2012
- Merit Award, Painting: Ventura Harbor Village Gallery 2012
- Special Recognition: Countryside Art Exhibition 2011
- First Place, Figure Drawing: CSUCI Student Art Show 2011
- Honorable Mention: Artist Portfolio Magazine, Issue 2 2011
- Second Place: Fresno County Fair Art Exhibit 2010
- Best of Show: Reedley Fiesta Art Exhibit 2010
- Bank of America English Scholarship 2008
- Best of Show: Fresno County Fair Art Exhibit 2006
- VENTURA HARBOR VILLAGE GALLERY 2012
- ALLIANCE OF CALIFORNIA ARTISTS 2001
REEDLEY MENNONITE BRETHREN CHURCH, Reedley, CA
- Led backdrop painting for Vacation Bible School 2010
- Created cityscape backdrop for stage 2010
- Assembled sets pieces for annual Christmas performance 2006