This Denver painter adds pieces to his collection that he finds beautiful or challenging. One piece in his collection is from a friend with whom he can’t paint anymore. Why? 
That particular piece is by Michelle Torrez, an artist who often paints the human figure, as does Clyde Steadman. “I had to stop painting with her because she is better known than me, and my style is similar enough to hers that if we worked from the same model and same pose, people would think I was copying her,” says Steadman. “I was very gratified to get a painting of hers. It’s a woman in a tub, and it has those Michelle Torrez brushstrokes; those long, fluid, Liquin brushstrokes that are so sensual.”

Jed Leiknes’s self-portrait in Steadman’s collection.
Elsewhere in Steadman’s collection is a plein air piece by Joshua Been, who Steadman calls “the best plein air painter I know.” Steadman got this piece through a trade. “I like to support my peers, but my pieces are too expensive for me to afford, and my peers’ paintings are way more expensive than I can afford,” says Steadman. “So I tend to either trade for paintings or buy when people offer me good prices.” In the case of Been’s painting, Steadman worked out a trade when Been wanted a piece Steadman did of him at a collector’s garden party—one depicting Been painting en plein air. “I was intimidated plein air painting next to him, but I do an awful lot of work from the figure, so I did that. Later, I visited him in Salida and picked out a painting of his. It’s mostly monochromatic with a high mountain lake and a bunch of pine trees—and the water is green with algae or from reflecting everything else. There’s lots of green, with some rocks along the lake serving as the only things in it that are not green.”

Jed Leiknes’s self-portrait in Steadman’s collection.

A painting by an area tattoo artist also hangs on Steadman’s wall. “I asked him to do a realistic self-portrait, and I would try to do a relatively morbid painting, and we’d trade,” says Steadman. “There’s a large group of really good artists in the tattoo world with phenomenal drawing skills. That world is parallel to ours, but rarely intersects. Jed Leiknes paints his own designs, really gruesome scenes of flesh decaying off of skulls. It’s all very horrid and disgusting and technically accomplished.”

George Dawnay did this small drypoint in Steadman’s collection.

Steadman is an oil painter, but he has some examples of other media in his collection. This includes a print, most likely a drypoint, by George Dawnay. “He was trained in an atelier in Italy and he draws really well,” says Steadman. “He is always drawing, in whatever medium he happens to be working in. He had a studio in the same building as me, a stone’s throw from the state capitol. It was a decrepit place filled with artists. Dawnay bought a little press and taught himself drypoint and aquatint. My piece is a guy carrying a couple of suitcases, and the load is heavy and life is hard. It’s really something.”


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