Steve Oliver

Biography

So many wildlife artists start their bio’s explaining how much they have liked art, since they were young and their fascination with wildlife began at a very, very early age.  Yup! My story is not so unusual or different.  Apparently, when I was less than two years old, I showed an interest in drawing and as anyone can see from the photo to the right, boredom was something I've never been able to handle very well.  Sitting in a chair doing nothing has just never worked well for me.  Drawing turned out to be a great way to occupy time and something I've always enjoyed.  Whenever there was nothing to do and even when there was, I could and would draw pictures. 

As things turned out though, Watertown, NY was just about as great a place to grow up as I could have ever wanted.  There were just so many things to do and enjoy.  Boredom, as it turned out, was rarely an issue.  

Born and raised in the Thousand Island region of upstate New York, I grew up with changing seasons and a childhood filled with many memories of playing in fields, ponds and woods that were home to all kinds of birds and animals.  It is this familiarity with animals and my life-long ambition to be an artist that helped convince me to leave my vocation several years ago and begin a new, very enjoyable career as a wildlife and nature artist.

Truth is, I'm not really sure when I realized people actually made art as a career, but I do remember finding a large stack of old Saturday Evening Post magazines at my grandparent's home, when I was young. I remember quite vividly being impressed and fascinated with the illustrated animal art covers by an artist named Charles Livingston Bull.  Seeing these images changed my life. Consequently, I now own several old magazines with Charles Bull covers.

Throughout the years, I have done several kinds of artwork, but for me, its wildlife art that allows me to combine the two things I am most passionate about:  Wildlife and Art.  My paintings are based on my passion for all living things and the many trips I have had the good fortune to undertake. On these trips, which have taken me all over the United States, I take the opportunity to observe and understand as much of the wildlife as I can.  During these trips, sketches are made, photographs are taken and information is written down.  Then, back at the studio, I put all this together.  Although very proficient with several mediums and techniques, I prefer acrylics for painting, but sometimes combine them with colored pencil or ink.

Travels have taken me to California, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Nevada, Florida, and Alaska. I've enjoyed the Pacific Northwest. where I saw places like the Olympic Peninsula, Mount Rainier and the Puget Sound.  I had a great trip to the Acadia National Park in Maine.  Even took another fantastic trip to Alaska.  To view some photographs from these trips and others, go to NEWS & TRAVEL at the top of this page. 

Since making my career change in 1995, I have become a member of the world-wide animal artist organizations: The Society of Animal Artists and the Artists for Conservation.  My artwork has also received several acknowledgements and awards,. including a coveted Award of Excellence from the Society of Animal Artists in 2004.  Some of the most recent and other notable acknowledgements are listed below.

                                      Awards & Acknowledgments

  • 2018 - Lansdale Art Festival, Lansdale, PA – Best of Show

  • 2018 - Maryland Black Bear Conservation Stamp Contest - Winner (8th time)

  • 2017 - Maryland Black Bear Conservation Stamp Contest - Winner (7th time)

  • 2017 - Lansdale Art Festival, Lansdale, PA – First Place for acrylic painting

  • 2015 – Delaware Foundation of Visual Arts – Spring Show – Honored Artist

  • 2015 - Maryland Black Bear Conservation Stamp Contest - Winner (6th time)

  • 2015 – DFVA Spring Show – First Place overall award
     

  • 2014 - 9th Audubon “Drawn from Nature” Show, Audubon, PA - Third Place
     

  • 2013 - Maryland Black Bear Conservation Stamp Contest - Winner (5th time)

  • 2013 - 8th Audubon “Drawn from Nature” Show, Audubon, PA - Honorable mention

  • 2013 - Lansdale Art Festival, Lansdale, PA – Best of Show

  • 2013 - Delaware Art Museum – Recognition Series: Delaware Foundation of Visual Arts
     

 

 

  • 2012 - Delaware Art Museum - Centennial Juried Exhibition, Oct. 2012 - Jan. 2013

  • 2012 - 7th Audubon “Drawn from Nature” Show, Audubon, PA - Honorable mention

  • 2012 - Lansdale Art Festival, Lansdale, PA - First Place for acrylic & oil painting

  • 2011 - Federal Duck Stamp Contest - Top 21 (scored in top 10)

  • 2011 - Pennsylvania Ducks Unlimited Art Print of the Year

  • 2011 - Pennsylvania Duck Stamp Competition - Second Place

  • 2011 - Maryland Black Bear Conservation Stamp Contest - Winner

  • 2011 - Delaware Duck Stamp Contest - Third place
     

  • 2010 - 1st Annual Nature & Wildlife Art Show, Jacksonville, FL - Honorable mention

  • 2010 - Wyoming Conservation Stamp Competition, Cheyenne, WY - Honorable mention

  • 2010 - Delaware Duck Stamp Contest - Winner

  • 2010 - East Carolina Wildlife Art Festival, Washington, NC - Best in Show

  • 2009 - Lansdale Art Festival, Lansdale, PA - First Place for acrylic & oil painting

© 2016 Steve Oliver.  All Rights Reserved.

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Charles Bull - crow