This week we have another talented artist from the USA,
Originally from the Rochester, New York area, Stephen Oosterling was mesmerized by the automotive world at a young age. At the age of 3 or 4, it was stop signs. He drew them all the time.
A lot of boys his age were sports fans: baseball, football and basketball. Steve already knew about Monaco, Indianapolis and Le Mans. He and his brothers played with Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars, Aurora HO slot cars and built plastic car models. He drew cars everywhere he could.
“I drew on the back of my homework. I drew on my class notebooks. My teachers would admonish me and let my Dad know what I was doing. He was a teacher in the school district but he never told me I had to stop. Art classes were an outlet. I could draw cars there and not get in trouble.”
The 70’s were tumultuous in the racing world. Drivers were dying in racing accidents every year. He saw the drivers he looked up to pass away: Swede Savage, Francois Cevert, Peter Revson and Mark Donohue. Motorsports interests waned for a bit.
“I had a school friend who invited me to the U S Grand Prix at Watkins Glen in 1976. The first blur I saw in The Boot was Jochen Mass in the Marlboro McLaren and behind him was Patrick Depailler in the Tyrrell P34 six wheeler…I wanted to be an F1 racer”.
Watkins Glen became a second home for Steve but the desire to race burned inside. It wasn’t until 1988 when he headed to the Spenard-David Racing School in Canada to learn how to drive a racing car on the edge.
“It gave me an appreciation for those who race at the limit. It encompasses all the senses and it’s an adrenaline rush.”
With schooling and a career in graphic design and illustration, job and family took precedence. Steve got his first painting commission in 1994. “ I struck up a conversation with some automotive artists at a Watkins Glen vintage weekend. I decided I really wanted to exhibit and sell my artwork.”
He has been very fortunate to have had some steady commissions since then. In 2012, Steve and his son Alex had the opportunity to create an indoor mural together at the Watkins Glen Chamber of Commerce.
“My artistic goal is to create images that impact the senses in a similar way as they do on the track. It’s about the color and the sound but also the craft of the driver to achieve maximum speed at the edge of control.”
Stephen resides with his wife and mother-in-law just outside of Charlotte, North Carolina.
You can visit his website here.
You can also connect with him on Facebook and Instagram.
Below you can enjoy some of Stephen’s work. Always respect copyright.
Click images to enlarge,