"Stumbling Toward Enlightenment" Henry Stinson

What do monsters, martinis, and a vacuum cleaner have in common?   

They are all part of the new collection from contemporary artist Henry Stinson!   

For those familiar with his work this should come as no surprise. For those who aren’t… welcome to extraordinary world of Henry Stinson! The imagination and passion he illustrates with each painting sheds new light on a life filled with wit, satire and childhood nostalgia.   

"Bad Boys and Girls 1-9" 12" x12" each, oil on canvas

Stinson’s story is nothing short of remarkable. Born in Anchorage, Alaska and growing up in the Pacific Northwest, his life and art were literally electrified at a young age. His experience being electrocuted behind the family sofa (more on this later) helped him develop an appreciation for the moments in life that linger in our minds. He strives to captures these memories through his work, redefining the obvious with vibrant colors and playful imagery. 

Henry started his formal training at Washington State University where he pursued a Bachelor of Fine Arts, focusing on sculpture. Continuing his education he attended The Art Institute of Seattle, as well as completing an intensive four year apprenticeship with master impressionist Ron Lukas. In addition, Stinson spent the past 17 years teaching, hosting workshops, and creating on his own vivacious works of art. While his formal education has undoubtedly shaped him into the extraordinary artist he is today, what ultimately defines Stinson’s work is his subjects. “Playful,” “Introspective,” and “Humorous” is how he describes his latest paintings, ingenious is what we think. 

"Take Out" 36" x 36" oil on canvas

Stinson’s latest collection will debut next Thursday May 13, 2010. In true Bonner David style, and in eager anticipation of the opening, we talked with Stinson about what ignites his creative fire: 

BGD: Is there a person or hero in your life who inspired you to pursue the path of artist?

Stinson: I have been inspired by many different artists throughout the years, but also starting way back at an early age watching cartoons.

BDG: Ah, so…cartoons were a big influence? Which one was your favorite?

Stinson: Mostly old Warner Bros. cartoons created by Chuck Jones, but I also love Ren and Stimpy, it’s one of my favorites.

            *for those non-cartoon buffs, Chuck Jones created some of our all time favorite characters like Roadrunner, Wile E. Coyote, Marvin the Martian and Pepe le Pew, just to name a few.

BDG: We love Ren and Stimpy! So, which one would you say you identify with the most?

Stinson: Definitely Ren! I’m much more like Ren than Stimpy.

BDG: [Laughing] that’s great…

BDG:One of your new pieces features Godzilla feasting on Chinese take out. While this painting conjures many parodies, the main thing we want to know is: “If Godzilla were to attack your town, what would you do?” 

Stinson: Pull up a lawn chair and watch… and hope he doesn’t step in my yard.   

BDG: Wonderful…we would definitely join you for that!   

BDG: “Bad Boys and Girls” is a collection of iconic characters from old sci-fi and B movies. Did you have figurines for those paintings or did you use photos?    

Stinson: No, I looked up images online and watched them on T.V., then went to my studio and painted them from memory.   

BDG: So you do not use photographs, you mentioned that in your American Art Collector article, why is that?   

Stinson: I would much rather work from memory. Why even try to copy a photo? I just think that not everything has to be perfect.   

BDG: Ok, so the burning question. You also mentioned in the American Art Collector article that you were electrocuted when you were 5 years old. We just have to know…what were you doing?   

Stinson: I was behind the couch playing with a fork lift toy. The light cord was plugged into an extension cord and I wasn’t strong enough to pull it out with my hands, so I held one of the cords with my mouth and pulled. I stripped the cord with my teeth, burned off my bottom lip, and that was all I remember. My heart stopped and I died.  It was one of those out of body experiences. I saw the tunnel of light and everything. I really have no physical memory of the pain, though. Last thing I remember was starring up at the ceiling.   

BDG: Wow that is an incredible story. Do you think that experience has influenced your life and your art?   

Stinson: Like the more spiritual side? Yes. The physical is not the end. And you have to laugh. It’s like that saying, “You can complain about your shoes until you meet a man with no feet.”   

 BDG: Would you say that’s your motto in life?   

Stinson: Yes. You just have to find humor in life.   

"Suck it Down" 20" x 40" oil on canvas

“Stumbling Toward Enlightenment” new works by Henry Stinson will debut with joint works from Lane Timothy on Thursday May 13, 2010 from 6:00-9:00 pm at Bonner David Galleries (Map). This is a remarkable and energetic collection. We invite everyone to join us for the opening and meet artist Henry Stinson, in the flesh!   

For more information or to obtain a full catalogue of the new collection please contact us at 480.941.8500 or via email at art@bonnerdavid.com   

Look for Henry Stinson in this month’s issue of American Art Collector !

To read Henry’s Bio and view images of his work click here HENRY STINSON