Born in Iowa, 1951, and raised in Southern California Stephen excelled in art throughout his schooling but had mainly studied commercial art. He took his first painting class while attending Idaho State University on a Water Polo Scholarship (Stephen was an All-American).
"It was probably 1985 when I finally admitted to myself and everyone that I wanted and needed to pursue my art. I had been acting for several years and although I had been successful, it was never where my heart was. Art was my first love and always was. I had taken art throughout my schooling but had only one painting class in college; I still don't remember what drew me to oil painting. Looking back over time I realize that painting provides a constant challenge. It reminds me of golf in that you can enjoy it or be frustrated by it but never completely master it. That's fine with me; it's always exciting to see where a painting ends up. I tell people that for the most part I am self-taught . . . but, the truth is, I have been taught by everything and everyone."
Stephen Charles Shortridge, the artist may be more familiar to you as an actor. During the seventies and eighties, Shortridge built an enviable career appearing in such well-known television series as "Welcome Back Kotter" and "The Love Boat". He co-starred with Debbie Reynolds on the ABC show "Aloha Paradise". He spent the year of 1987 playing the role of David Reed as part of the original cast on the CBS daytime soap opera "The Bold and the Beautiful". Stephen also worked regularly as a model and appeared in over fifty TV commercials.
Stephen enjoyed acting but found painting much more creatively satisfying and explains, "In acting a large part of the creative process had taken place by the time I was involved. In contrast, painting gives me complete control from start to finish, which is good and bad. Good when the work is good, . . . bad, when there is no one else to blame for bad but me."
"I think the most important aspect of creating is staying true to your heart and trying to share that passion. I think too often we pursue knowledge rather than experience or relationship. Knowledge never creates anything, but intimate experience of the heart does."
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