Stephen James Harlan

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BORN IN: Minnesota

STYLE/MEDIUM: Mixed Media Digital Paintings

GREATEST ARTISTIC INSPIRATION: Water

YEARS IN THE BUSINESS: 30

STUDIO LOCATION: Prince Frederick, Md.

PUBLISHER: Self-Published

CONTACT: 410-535-4399; www.harlaneditions.com

MOST RECENTLY COMPLETED PIECE: "Urban Textures" Series

MOST RECENT GALLERY SHOW: Carmen's Gallery, Solomons Island, Md.

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Bright, vibrant colors and intricate detail are two characteristics always found in Stephen James Harlan's enticing mixed-media digital work.

"Twilight hour--an hour before the sun sets and an hour after the sun rises--is when the colors are so bright and so vivid, but they don't last long," Harlan says. "The brief moment of those colors is what I try to capture in my paintings. The common response I get from people who purchase nay work is: 'I want to be there; I want to be in that spot.'"

Harlan's subjects range from sailboats and beaches to Southwestern scenes and urban landscapes with much in between. However, water-related renderings are the artist's favorite subjects to paint.

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"My studio is right on the Chesapeake Bay, and that's where I find a lot of stimulation for my work," Harlan explains. "Also, my wife and I love to go sailing. I've been sailing since ! was about 15 years old. We travel a lot with our daughters, Danielle and Samantha, to coastal areas, where I see things that I'd like to depict in my art. I'm really fascinated by water."

The start of Harlan's artistic career came unexpectedly when he worked in California for a small production company. He was employed in the graphics department and convinced the company's owner to purchase a computer for design purposes. After learning how to use the design program, Harlan decided he wanted to create an image of a guitar. After finishing the picture, he mailed it to the owners of the graphics programming company. One week later, he received a phone call from the company president saying that there was no possible way he could have created the image on the system, claiming it was not capable of doing what Harlan had done. …