Steve Lyons has earned international acclaim for a style the critics call “sculptural painting,” in which the paint, slathered on thickly, becomes as significant as the subject of the painting. This multi-plane technique affects the viewer on multiple levels, a scenario the artist describes as “a tactile experience that bridges the gap between representational and abstract work.” Lyons calls his Chatham studio home.
“While I enjoy traveling and succeeding in Europe and other parts of the U.S., Chatham is a magical place for me, personally and professionally,” he says. “There’s nothing quite like having my working studio right on Main Street, where I can explore my creativity, and just as easily interact with local beauty and people from all over the world.”
A native of Portsmouth, Ohio, Lyons has been painting since childhood and won his first competition at age 7. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Kentucky University with a major in journalism and a minor in art, and a master’s from Louisiana State University. Studying art history, he was struck by the notion that every major art movement began with a technique, and he set out to develop his own. While working as a corporate writer, Lyons painted and experimented constantly. His sculptural painting evolved from impasto, a method that dates from the 13th and 14th centuries and means layering thick paint on a surface. Artists such as Van Gogh and Jackson Pollock practiced this style.
Lyons’s road to international recognition began in 2011, when he started selling small seascapes he had painted on scraps of lumber on his back porch in Provincetown. He carried them to the front porch, named the space “The Front Steps Gallery,” and became known as “Momento.” The abstracts of dunes, water, and landscapes flew off the porch as fast as Lyons could paint them.
In 2013, Lyons won the shared exhibition prize at Stadtgalerie in Westerland, Germany. In 2014, he was the first American to receive a private mentorship with renowned Finnish artist and designer Markku Piri. Having recently returned from his latest art show in Germany at Heckmann Höfe, Lyons is considering offers for shows in China and Berlin.
In addition, the artist recently released the Steve Lyons Archival Print Collection, which features prints of his original pieces that have been bought by collectors around the world. Each image has a limited number per prints and is numbered and hand-signed. – Kathy Blackwell