Atlanta-based artist Stephanie Wheeler has had a presence in Round Top for 12 years. After participating in 22 shows, Stephanie still says, “I love the challenge. With shows every six months, creating a new body of work pushes you to evolve and grow in many directions, sometimes forcing you into the unknown!” Continuously in demand from art lovers, her work this season will once again have many pieces that are new and exciting.
Many artists have a natural tendency to move toward abstraction later in their careers. While still painting some of her best-loved subject matters including Colorado scenes and florals, Stephanie looks to incorporate new twists on the same themes, looking for ways to present them differently, creating an idyllic window into a colorful world.
When asked about her inspiration, Stephanie has often cited her passion for travel and new experiences. Her studio is tucked away under a canopy of trees, surrounded by birds and other wildlife, and a colorful array of flora and fauna. This natural wonderland is located in the midst of the bustling southern city of Atlanta. Much of her work features the calm, serene greens of her studio versus a more dramatic city life, infused with black and gray.
Whether painting an Aspen scene, an abstracted floral or figurative piece, Stephanie says it all comes from an up-close and personal experience with the subject matter. This keeps her work authentic. From her summers spent hiking on trails in Colorado, to working in a flower shop many years ago, to working in Marty Dawes’ Atlanta studio sculpting clay from a model, it’s this time spent studying these shapes and colors that allow her the opportunity to recreate the essence of the subject broken down to a more simple, colorful form.
Excited for the fall season at Market Hill, Stephanie will feature several of her latest abstract pieces. These large-scale pieces are created in oil with multiple layers. The process begins with some intuitive mark-making, layering in color, then scraping back and layering again.
She is playful with paint, the surface, and the texture. This method is similar to the same way she approaches landscapes, and these abstract pieces have a landscape quality to them as well. Much like her daily life, with a sense of movement, these works communicate the shift in perspective that occurs during travel from a rural environment with expansive terrain to an urban environment.