Only very occasionally does a gifted artist emerge who distills a lifetime of experience into his work.
That artist is Stuart Coleman Budd, that lifetime is fascinating, and that work has the truly unique ability to capture a timelessness and calm that defy this age of dizzying acceleration.
Budd grew up in Charlotte, N.C. His dedication to art began as early as kindergarten, when he would often skip recess to finish painting. At Myers Park High School he studied with the iconic Dean Barber, earning scholarships to several schools and eventually selecting Ohio’s Columbus College of Art and Design. He later studied at the prestigious School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Fine Arts at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and Charlotte.
After school, Budd traveled extensively throughout the United States, including several years of painting in the Virgin Islands. In 2002 he returned to Charlotte to dedicate himself to his artwork. Budd arrives at his painting studio in the morning and works late into the evening, often sleeping on a cot among his work. Decades spent drawing on site in the mountains of Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina, provides him the practice, familiarity, and essence needed to recreate his beloved wilderness from memory in the studio. “It is an ethereal thing,” Budd says about his work, “more about the way places feel than look.”
Of his paintings, one collector wrote, “The work is so subtle…sheered, layered surfaces delicate as moth wings, colored in shades of gray, silver, pewter, cream and gold. They glow but they don’t illuminate their own details. Looking at his paintings is like watching the sun come up over the meadow. Beyond that they defy description.”