For most of his professional life, Thomas Stiltz has worked as an art director, photographer, and painter. Stiltz’s experience with photography brings sensitivity to light and form. His keen sense of composition and picture space, combined with a dramatic flair, naturally led him to create striking paintings. He paints with a purpose, to stimulate viewers with feelings and emotions about the seemingly mundane objects of our lives.
Stiltz received his Bachelor of Arts in painting, and Master of Arts in photography and design from the University of Delaware. One painter to influence Stiltz is Cezanne, whose still life shows devotion to the solidity of objects and form revealed through color. His paintings also reflect the inspiration gained from his studies of the works of Jan Vermeer. It is apparent from Stiltz’s work that he is influenced by Vermeer’s depiction of the interaction of light and objects, his emphasis on detail, and the effect of diffused light on backgrounds and shadows also bear similarities.
The paintings of Stiltz are created with a devotion to archaic techniques, often using many layers to build up the paint surface. Backgrounds are glazed with many layers of color for depth and richness, and objects are rendered with a strong emphasis on naturalism.