For most of his professional life, Thomas Stiltz has worked as an art director, photographer, and painter. His experience with photography brings sensitivity to light and form. His strong sense of composition and picture space combined with flair of the dramatic, naturally lead him to create striking paintings. His purpose is to stimulate the viewer with feelings and emotion about the common, ordinary objects of our lives.
Stiltz received his Bachelor of Arts in painting and Master of Arts in photography and design from the University of Delaware. One painter to influence Stiltz is C'ezanne, whose still life's show devotion to the solidity of objects from his studies of the works of Jan Vermeer. It is apparent from Stiltz's work, that he is impressed with Vermeer's depiction of the interaction of light and objects, his emphasis on detail, and the effect of diffused light on backgrounds and shadows.
The paintings by Stiltz are created with devotion to old world techniques, often using many layers to build up the paint surface. Backgrounds are glazed with many layers of color for depth and richness, and objects are rendered with a strong emphasis on naturalism. Dynamic compositions are created by varying the angle of the view, and by building the still life with what appears to be random placement of objects. This placement is actually calculated to show the air around objects, and to contrast the surfaces and weights of each element.
As a graduate student traveling through Paris in 1972, Stiltz developed his taste for fine wine. Stiltz has toured many vineyards, met the owners and winemakers and discovered the wine making process produced complexity and sensual lushness. Neither process can not be rushed nor is each wine or work of art as different as the personality who creates it.
With 'The Wine Collection', Stiltz's artistic talent and interest in fine wines coalesce. This series of paintings and prints does more than merely render these popular subjects, but transforms them through the artist's eye into true works of art.
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