Stan Chew - Artist of Surf Art Paintings
Stan's early influences originated through reading Treasure Island, illustrated by N.C. Wyeth. The sense of drama in the compositions, the color and movement of the water and the shape of the clouds inherent in Wyeth's works are still making an impact on Stan's art.
Being in a Navy family, travel was constant. At age eight, his family moved to Japan, then Hawai'i and finally Taiwan, living outside of the US mainland for eight straight years. Polynesian and Asian art and eastern culture became Stan's norm, as did a constant diet of surfing. This life was rich with early 1960's Hawai'iana and the exotic world of a then pristine Taiwan, well before the industrial boom. Surfing meant land and seascapes of impossibly beautiful tropical backdrops, setting the stage for his artistic vision.
Once back in the states, his interest in music led to pursuing a fine arts education, leading to a successful music career that lasted well into his late 30's. Later, Stan's fascination with engineering led to a software career spanning software design and international business development.
His return to painting started in 1989. By the early 1990's, Stan was exhibiting in the New Hampshire seacoast town of Hampton, where he lived and surfed, and selling his art paintings to local collectors. Initially, he anchored his approach to his early influences but found his own style rapidly within the Surf Art genre.
Stan has always placed an emphasis on mastering technique in tandem with evolving his style. His early fascination with Vermeer, Maxfield Parish and Bill Ogden's works led to learning how to apply multiple layers of paint mixed with varnish, a technique known as glazing. The result is a depth of image, often jewel like, as natural light penetrates the varnish and reflects the color back to the viewer's eye...the paintings "pop". This technique makes for labor intensive paintings, but to Stan, the results are worth the added time and effort. It enables Stan to capture the intensity of his subject matter in the same way the Hawai'ian and Taiwanese land and seascapes captured him as a young man...vibrant, yet correct color palette, truthful perspective, passionate composition.
Stan's works are collected by some of the foremost Surf Art collectors and is on display in board rooms of well known corporations in the US. Today, Stan can be found with his wife Kristi and his jungle dog Smiley at his home in either Bocas Del Toro, Panama or in Stillwater, Minnesota, on the St. Croix river. His paintings are available principally through commissions or occasionally through postings of new works on this website.