Born in 1952 in New York, Stephen Chesley grew up in Virginia Beach. He graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University and received his Master’s degree from the School of Architecture at Clemson University. Chesley is a modern tonalist painter yet credits diverse artists . His paintings often depict the fleeting light of dawn & dusk, combined with primordial elements such as water, wind, and fire.
The heritage of American landscape painting is well founded by such artist as: George Inness, Edward Hopper, Ralph Albert Blakelock, Albert Pinkham Ryder, and others, who had the ability to infuse elements of solidity,mystery, and poetic emotional content on the painted surface…The Abstract Expressionist were another group of American painters whose message included a departure from figuration, and the use of mass, color, and abstract technique… Franz Kline’s technique of sweeping bold stokes of black paint derived from observations of steel in snow are and inspiration to use an abstract vocabulary to produce a figurative image… With history and romanticism,It may be that the South is the last American frontier.It is also a focus of Chesley to herald nature by bringing a message of it’s inestimable beauty and value.
His work is in the collections of BellSouth, Carolina First Bank, Columbia Museum of Art, Erskine College, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, National Bank of South Carolina, Savannah College of Art & Design, State of South Carolina Art Collection, and others.