As a youngster, Steve BonDurant was encouraged by his parents, who nurtured his artistic pursuit. An early interest in drawing led the way to calligraphy, printmaking and pen and ink drawing, which sparked new endeavors and income. Steve was fortunate to have terrific teachers, and as a high school student, he spent a summer painting a grant-funded corridor mural at his school with another student. He earned his AAS in painting and BFA in medical illustration from Rochester Institute of Technology.
After RIT, BonDurant pursued a career in commercial art, developing advertising, branding, packaging, illustration, and print communications for local, national, and international clients. In 1999, he began plein air landscape painting. On painting trips to Monhegan Island, Maine, as well as France and Italy, Steve studied under Don Stone, NA to learn the fundamentals of observing nature and painting outdoors.
To see the world as it might be painted brings a personal outlook, seeking the relationships between light and shadow, as they appear in nature. BonDurant endeavors to capture the mood and sense-of-being in a scene, which begins with an oil wash to establish composition, shapes, and values. From there, warm complimentary colors complete the underpainting. Next, the final application of real colors happens, selectively revealing the underpainting to create visual interest and vibrosity.
In 2015, using his graphic design and print-production expertise, BonDurant helped publish Landscape Paintings of Western New York, by Don Grieger.
BonDurant is a signature member of the Rochester Art Club and a charter signature member of Genesee Valley Plein Air Painters, where he currently serves as vice president. In 2012, he was invited to join The All Weather Gang, to meet weekly to paint the splendor of Western New York.
Steve recently competed in his first plein air event, the Seventh Annual Finger Lakes Plein Air Festival and Competition, and again this year in the eighth annual. The five-day festival features 41 juried-in artists from all over, painting outdoors around Canandaigua, New York and Ontario County.
“What appeals to the human eye,
to develop an emotional connection,
is a lifelong pursuit.”