Gleaner by Stephanie Frostad
Graphite & Oil on Wood Panel
Stephanie Frostad
Missoula, Montana
20" x 30"

The realities of agriculture are of vital interest to me — like everyone concerned with putting wholesome food on the table. As an artist I am intrigued by this ancient and essential collaboration with nature too. In rural places wilderness and civilization meet and intermingle. Human beings strive and thrive with other animals, both wild and domestic. They all live intimately with the Elements, the blessings and vagaries of each season. What’s more, agrarian landscapes are storied places. Myths and parables, proverbs and legends continue to unfold there.

I take up these allegorical possibilities along with inspiration from the beauty and drama of the vital world. In agricultural settings I find fertile ground to explore both the natural and unnatural forces affecting our lives. Though fictional, my work is an expression of true wonder in seasonal change, the diversity of living things and the dynamic relationships among us all.

In narrative painting my objective is to present the essential elements of a story: a character or two, a sense of place and time, a moment of connection, tension or reflection. I seek figures, symbols and scenarios that are both personally compelling and socially relevant. With careful measures of clarity and ambiguity, I create imaginative space for viewers to bring their own perspectives into the tale. Thematically, I am concerned with traditions, stereotypes and myths that shape identity, as well as relationships to home and family, to work, community and place. I explore these with equal interest in the actual and the metaphorical, striving always to combine convincing naturalism with provocative symbolism.”