Steve Atkinson OPA

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Steve Atkinson OPA
Judge For: Fall 2019

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At my very core, I’m a storyteller and I strive to infuse my paintings with those stories that excite me. Stories of the American west are always front and center. Cowboys, action scenes and moments of quiet contemplation are what I love. The authenticity of historical scenes or telling the story of today’s working cowboy is essential to my work. It’s really all about what the painting has to say that makes it personal and unique. Most days I can be found in painting in my studio, but I also love to paint en plein air. These days I make my home in Prescott, Arizona, in the very heart of the subject matter that fills my soul.


I’m proud that I’ve made my living, but also my life in Art. As long as I can remember, I’ve had a sketchbook in my hands, surrounding myself in nature and drawing the world around me. Growing up in a steel town in Eastern Ohio, I knew even then that I would make my home in the American West as an artist. I attended Kent State University to study fine art, but changed my major to illustration when I figured out I could support myself through art, right out of school. For the next 25 years I made my living as an illustrator, creating images for fortune 500 companies and magazines across the US. It was a great career and I loved it, but always yearned to become a fine artist, making pictures that moved me, and others who saw them. Along the way, I took classes and workshops from the best fine artists teaching today, and in 2008, realized my dream to become a full time fine artist.  Today, my work is found in collections across the United States and Europe. Along the way Steve has won many awards. Among them are Award of Excellence awards twice from the Oil Painters of America, the latest one being for portraiture at the 2018 National Exhibit in St George, Utah for his painting “Tough Enough to Wear Pink”. A silver medal for his painting Dirty Work in 2017’s Western Regional show. And the Jones Award from the Bosque Conservatory in Clifton, Texas.


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