Creating beauty with the stroke of a brush

Steve Abbott, local artist, brushes the finishing touches on a new painting. (Contributed)

By MOLLIE BROWN / Community Columnist

One of Steve Abbott’s fondest childhood memories is the smell of oil paint and turpentine-cleaned brushes in his maternal grandmother’s house. He vividly remembers walls in her home covered in paintings and a tiny little studio that doubled as a sewing room.

Abbott, a third generation artist, was born and raised in Anniston. His interest in art was developed at a very young age, strongly influenced by his grandmother and parents.

“My college minor was in art, but art was only a hobby during my 20-year career in the Air Force,” Abbott said. “It wasn’t until I attended the ‘April in Talladega’ tour of historic homes, about 12 years ago, that I was truly inspired to follow my passion.”

Abbott is drawn to figurative work and still life. He paints in oils to please the eye and edify the heart. His resolution for 2011 is to finding his “voice” in art and create paintings that don’t look like photographs.

In addition to his retired military career, Abbott practices law and is a licensed professional counselor. He actively painted during career shifts and attended art classes and workshops. He has followed several successful artists, the last being Qiang Huang.

Abbott is a self-critic and continually challenges himself in his work.

To simply be clay in the Master Potter’s hands is Abbott’s desire. Paintings of his wife, Nan, and granddaughter, Ashley, hang in his study as a constant reminder of what the “Greatest Artist” can create.

“I love painting children. They are the few remaining reminders of innocence and purity and a sweet reminder of God’s gift of children and grandchildren,” Abbott said. “The picture of Nan is a reminder that there is a beach somewhere, with an umbrella shading an empty chair calling my name.”

The Abbotts live on County Road 306 along with their cat Sylvie. Collectively they have four children and seven grandchildren. Abbott’s son, Jason, is the fourth generation painter of the family. Jason’s eight-year-old daughter Ashley is the fifth.

Abbott’s paintings are posted on his blog, Steveabbottfineart.blogspot.com and marketed on eBay. His current challenge is linking his blog to the website Alabamadailypainters.com.

Abbott offers commission artwork-portraits, pets, etc. Cost begins at $500; complexity of the picture (size and subject) determines the commission cost. He can be reached by phone, 668-7557 or 999-3555, or email him at sabbott406@gmail.com.

Mollie Brown can be reached at dmjhb1@bellsouth.net.