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Judy Steffens is a Central Illinois artist working from her studio at home. Judy is a figurative realist oil painter. Each of Judy's paintings depicts a visual encounter that she has experienced and which sparked her imagination. Her work demonstrates an intimacy with the subject and thoughtful story-telling.
Judy was interested in art at an early age. Judy recalls drawing horses at her school desk as a young second grader. She would find inspiration from the illustrations in the books of C.W. Anderson, Wesley Dennis, and others, which lined her bookshelves. She would spend hours studying and copying those drawings.
Inspired by the revolutionary fashion trends of the 1960's, Judy found new inspiration for her drawings. What started as designing outfits in the margins of her notebooks in school turned into a focus and interest in drawing people, which is a consistent theme throughout Judy's decades of practice.
Judy earned her Bachelors Degree in Fine Art from Bradley University.In 2010 and 2011 Judy and her husband lived in Florida. They were lucky enough to rent a studio condo on the beach. Daily proximity to the beach provided the the inspiration that led to her colorful and serene beach themed works.
Judy has been active in her local art communities. She belongs to local art organizations and has served on the exhibition committees with two organizations. She participated as a judge on an important exhibition for high school art students.
In recent years Judy has exhibited widely in local and regional exhibitions, including one and two-person exhibitions. Judy's work has been accepted into juried exhibitions and been exhibited in group shows from Colorado to New York.
In 2021 and 2022 Judy participated in her first outdoor Art Fairs, including the Coconut Grove Arts Festival in Miami, Florida and Bayou City Art Festival in Houston, Texas.
Statement: In 2018 I began a series of beach paintings.I had painted the beach a couple of times before that. In college I painted a picture from a photo I took of my sisters on our first ever visit to the ocean. In 2010 I began painting the beach scenes more regularly, inspired while my husband and I found ourselves living in Florida.
We lived in a very small studio rented condo so that we could live right on the beach. That daily exposure to beach and ocean was such an inspiration. I always found it magical.Painting beach scenes allows me to do two things I love.
I am passionate about painting people, especially in those everyday moments and situations when we are just being who we are.
Since being beside the ocean on a beach is at the same time exhilarating and calming, what better place to capture the essence of something humans all over the world have in common-their love of the beautiful and majestic ocean-than in my paintings.
Materials & Techniques: Oil on Wood Cradled Gesso Board Panel