Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Back story: "Expecting Glory"

Hello friends! I am ridiculously excited to have finished a work in progress from 2011 - 2015! The painting is on 2 7' tall x 3' wide slab doors. I purchased the doors raw without hinges, holes, or hardware. They were essentially large artist panels. I began this painting in 2011 in grad school as a stop motion short film. It began as a joke and developed into something more serious.

1st video filmed on this panel.

My professors weren't impressed with the low production value or low artistic quality, but they were very encouraging of doing more to get better. I learned a lot through this project, like setting the camera up on a tripod instead of holding it to snap photos. This video could make someone sea sick! LOL!

Then the next video:

This was shown to my advising panel of professors and still had problems. Problems such as breaking the viewer out of the artwork by including my feet and the sun. Also I still refused to use a tripod so the production value was choppy and inconsistent. Also, it never occurred to me to use a camera setting of a 16:9 ratio (widescreen format) for the video... Lessons learned along the way right?

Video version #3: final version

In this final version, I cut away the highly criticized cartoon-like beginning because it was a narrative that told a story overtly representing life and the passing of time.

“Artists are people driven by the tension between the desire to communicate and the desire to hide.” ― D.W. Winnicott

I wanted to figure out a way to represent the concept of time passing in a more abstract way. So I hung a lightbulb via its power cord and moved it across the picture plane like the rising and setting of the sun. Thus the concept of past, present, and future was born within this work. The past is represented by darkness and the future by the light.

I perceived the work finished at this point and hung the painting, among others, at my thesis show. I played 5 videos via a projection on the back wall of the gallery.

I hung this painting in my first apartment when married to my wife Cara. And two, possibly three, years have passed. We just moved into our first home in April of 2015 and I now have an in home studio. Inspired by the new opportunity to create within my personal studio, I began work rebooting the black and white work into a vibrant painting...

Monday, June 22, 2015

Painting Camp Summer 2015

Last week was a wonderful time at Donna Downey Studios as 5 student artists came and painted all week long. Each day each artist had to paint whatever they wanted within a given theme.

Day 1: Expressive Self Portrait

Day 2: Landscape 

Day 3: The Figure

Day 4: From nature

Final day photos: (day 5 - free project)

McKenna 2015

Isabel 2015

Laura 2015

Alex 2015

Jonathan 2015

Thank you all for working so hard last week! I hate that McKenna had to go before we took the picture. I very much look forward to working together in the future!!! Your friend,

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Rose View of Heaven - SOLD!

In 2014 I was commissioned to create a painting for a customer in the Lake Norman area. We met and had a brief conversation about what colors she likes and dislikes and about the fact that she wanted the painting to give the experience of looking at clouds - having no intentional imagery, but the opportunity to read into it what one sees in the moment.

I started by painting 2 small scale mock ups for a 2nd meeting where I could get more feedback giving me a little bit more clarity on her hopes and dreams for the painting.

Once we met and discussed I got to work on the larger painting. The final canvas is 5' tall x 4' wide.

I installed it in her home and was allowed to take a number of pictures as it hung.

Thank you Nancy!

These are the photos from the first installation. About a year later when she commissioned me to create a second painting for their bedroom, she asked me to make some small changes to the painting and frame it. The newest pictures are below the older pictures, so keep scrolling down to see the updates! Thank you!
Rose View of Heaven
Stephen Lursen
Acrylic on canvas
5' x 4'


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Flower Girl - SOLD!

I was extremely blessed by Donna Downey last year when she offered to include me in a series of paintings and subsequent workshops. The third and final workshop at Donna Downey Studios in Huntersville, NC just ended last month (May 2015).

The concept behind this series was a collaborative project where Donna would create a brightly colored abstract whimsical background. She would then hand off the canvas to me and I would paint a figure on top of the canvas.

In our second Workshop that took place at the studio in January of this year (2015), one of our customers purchased this painting. I love this painting and was so proud to see it go to an admiring home.

Flower Girl
Mid process vs. finished painting comparison image
Donna Downey and Stephen Lursen
Acrylic on canvas
48" x 24"

Flower Girl
Donna Downey and Stephen Lursen
Acrylic on canvas

Friday, June 12, 2015

Hummingbird Painting III - SOLD!

I was recently commissioned to paint a new Hummingbird painting by a customer in Virginia. After talking with her to find out what she wanted I got to work in my studio. The rest is history!
Thank you Lauren!


Hummingbird Painting III
Stephen Lursen
Acrylic, sequins, and glitter on canvas
12" x12"

After it arrived at her home, she opened the box and immediately hung it on her wall. 
Here are the images she sent me that same day!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Abstract Landscape Painting - SOLD!!!

I was recently commissioned to create an abstract landscape painting based on some of my past works, but this one had the request of a specific color palette. This work is the most textural of my past abstract landscapes and also includes gold leaf.

Abstract Landscape for Karen Dortschy - Artist and owner of

I have been working with Karen for a year now as she has rapidly grown her artist business. The demand for her work has consistently grown, and not a week has gone by since I've worked with her that she hasn't had a commission or multiple on her schedule. I'm proud of her growth and also very honored that she commissioned me to create this painting for her home. Please check out her website and view her paintings by clicking here. It is the second painting she has purchased from me in the last year which makes her one of my collectors. :) Proud moment for me!

Abstract Landscape VIII
Stephen Lursen
Acrylic and gold leaf on canvas
24" x 24"

 Here is the photo Karen texted me after she hung the painting in her home. :)

Thank you Karen!!!