Todd Stilson

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Mormon Todd Stilson

Todd Stilson is an artist based in Provo, Utah, whose work is inspired by the Renaissance and Modernism. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, casually called the Mormon Church. He has been a professional artist for 20 years.

"I may take up to a year to finish a traditional painting," he said. "I can't let go of something until I'm satisfied that I've done my best. I want to make something that makes me feel like I did when I stood in front of a Rembrandt, Dali or a DaVinci. It's a tall order, but a church leader of mine many years [ago] called for members to rise to the challenge of becoming the next Rembrandt or the next Shakespeare. I really resonated with that." [1]

Stilson grew up in Sandy, then moved to Troutdale, Oregon, when he was 13 years old. His father built power lines; his mother worked as a grocery clerk.

He took an art class each year from junior high on, but was not smitten with art. The only creative projects around the house were the porcelain figures that his mother painted. She got him involved in working with her, which he liked.

Mormon Stilson Madonna
Stilson went to Brigham Young University on a gymnastics scholarship, left to serve two years on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Tokyo, returned to school and gymnastics and promptly broke his left forearm in eight places. He underwent surgery, returned to the sport and broke the arm again, ending that career.

He then chose another route -- interior design, majoring in that field for three years. He became unsatisfied, so with help of a few teachers he changed his major to painting. It was a Study Abroad semester that sealed his fate, he said. As he traveled all over Europe from museum to museum, he fell in love with the old masters and their way of doing things.

He produces about three figure paintings, drawings and 10 abstract paintings each year. The abstract work was inspired by his adviser, Doug Heim, who introduced him to the modern masters, such as Klee, Kandinsky and the Bauhaus movement. Stilson is represented by Gremillion & Co. Fine Art.

Stilson "creates works of stunning beauty and perplexity. His eclectic nature, sense of humor, flare for the macabre, and anachronistic audacity collide with the soul. Trained as a painter in the old master/modern master traditions, he uses ancient and modern esoteric writings and images as a matrix for self expression." (Official Website)

Todd graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art from Brigham Young University in the mid 1980’s, and has studied in Florence and Paris. He has exhibited in galleries for the last twenty years located in Houston, Palm Desert, Scottsdale, Salt Lake City and Atlanta. His works are in major corporate and private collections. He paints both secular and religious subjects.

Stilson is married and has five children.