Stephen Charles Shortridge, the artist may be more familiar to you as an actor. For fifteen years he has sold you such products as Mennen, Speedstick, Coke, Certs, and Head and Shoulders to name just a few of the over fifty TV commercials he’s done. Theatrically he has starred as a series regular in “Welcome Back Kotter” as the southern sweathog ‘Beau’ and co-starred with Debbie Reynolds on the ABC show “Aloha Paradise”. He spent the year of 1987 playing the role of David Reed as part of the original cast on the CBS daytime soap opera “The Bold and the Beautiful”.
It was after this role that Stephen set his priorities toward business and finally to pursue his love of art. Stephen enjoyed acting but found painting much more creatively satisfyng and explains, “…the feeling of being totally free to create as an artist is exciting to me. In acting a large part of the creative process had taken place by the time I was involved. The writer, director, and producer had already made many decisions about the character I would play. In contrast, painting gives me complete control. I may race along in a painting and have a disaster on my hands or something I’m proud of…but, I make the choices and accept the consequences good or bad. That’s freedom…it’s precious and the most fulfilling part of being an artist to me.”
Born in Iowa and raised in Southern California Stephen excelled in art throughout his schooling but had mainly studied commercial art. He took his first painting class while attending Idaho State University on a Water Polo Scholarship (Stephen was an All-American). Without formal training, the French Impressionists became his teacher, Monet in particular. Preferring full colors and bold painting strokes Stephen has established his own aggressive style. Amongst Stephen’s collector are celbrities Patty Duke, Donna Summer, and Rick Dees. Also while living in the LA area Stephen exhibited with a fellow actor/artists including accomplished artist Peter Falk.
“…As a final note I do have great fun painting! I thank God for everything, the least of which is to be creative and to paraphrase a famous line from “Chariots of Fire”,”when I paint I feel His pleasure”…This I certainly do.”