One of my greatest joys as an artist is traveling and finding new subjects to paint. It rejuvenates my spirit and enlivens my senses. For me, painting is itself a journey—with discoveries, challenges and unexpected detours—that reveals a deeper understanding of the subject.
Painting a landscape on location, in ever-changing conditions, is an intense experience. My paintings are a record of my response to the spiritual and dramatic effects of light in nature. I am successful if the viewer sees and is moved, as I am.
Bradley Stevens grew up in Westport, CT and came to Washington, D.C. to attend George Washington University, where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1976 and Masters of Fine Arts in 1979. In addition to his art studies, Stevens spent five years copying several hundred Old Master paintings at the National Gallery of Art. In 1982, he was invited to teach drawing and anatomy at his alma mater; and in 1988, he began teaching drawing and portrait painting at Georgetown University. He remained a faculty member of both institutions until 2000.
In his career of over 35 years, Stevens has forged a reputation as one of America’s leading realist painters. His style is contemporary realism––rooted in classical training, yet boldly depicting the modern world with his penetrating eye. Stevens is unique among his contemporaries for his exceptional achievements in three domains of representational art: portraiture, landscapes and figurative cityscapes. He skillfully combines these genres in his work, creating contemporary portraits of people and places. He frequently works on commission, and many of the commissioned paintings are on a large scale for public and private spaces.
Stevens has painted the portraits of luminaries and leaders in the fields of education, business, medicine, law, science, philanthropy and politics. His stellar list of patrons includes Governor Mark Warner of Virginia; Vernon E. Jordan, Jr.; the family of Senator John D. Rockefeller, IV.; Glenn L. Martin, co-founder of Martin Marietta; C. Michael Armstrong, chairman of Johns Hopkins University Hospital and Medical School; Senator Jennings Randolph of West Virginia; and Sarah Tomerlin Lee, internationally acclaimed interior designer. In January of 2007, the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, acquired the portrait of Vernon E. Jordan, Jr. for their permanent collection.
He has reproduced historical portraits for the White House, U.S. Department of State, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Embassy in Paris, National Portrait Gallery, and Monticello. In January 2002, the Smithsonian Institution commissioned him to reproduce Gilbert Stuart’s Lansdowne portrait of George Washington. The painting now hangs in Mount Vernon. In September 2006, Stevens completed an original historical mural commemorating the Connecticut Compromise of 1787 for the U.S. Senate. The mural is installed in the Senate Reception Room, adjacent to the Senate Chambers in the U.S. Capitol.
Stevens’ landscapes and figurative cityscapes are found in the collections of America’s preeminent corporations, associations and professional firms, including AARP; Carr America; CSX; Cushman & Wakefield; FannieMae; Gannett; Holland & Knight; McGuire Woods Battle & Boothe LLP; Verizon; Wheat First Butcher & Singer; Williams & Connolly LLP; and Wiley Rein & Fielding LLP.
Stevens was honored by the National Parks Service for three consecutive years as one of the Top 100 Artists in the Arts for the Parks Competition, and received the prestigious Steven L. Aschenbrenner Collector’s Award for his painting Approaching Rapids of the Grand Canyon.
By invitation of the U.S. Department of State, Stevens is a participant in the Art in Embassies program, which places the work of renowned American artists in their embassies around the world.
Stevens and his wife, artist Patricia Skinner, live and work in their home in the Virginia countryside, near Washington D.C. They enjoy traveling, and often paint on location. The couple shares a particular fondness for the Pacific Northwest, where they spend part of the year. Recent wanderings for inspiration include Tuscany, Hawaii, Yosemite and Vancouver Island.
Stevens is represented by galleries in Washington D.C., New York, Boston, Warm Springs, VA and Orcas Island, WA.