As a painter Brad Stoman, continually challenges himself to create thought-provoking compositions that produce a contemporary message on the balance between man and the environment.
Over the twenty years of pursuing this unique style of painting, Brad Stroman has been influenced by Eastern philosophy and Native American beliefs concerning the very essence of our existence. In particular, Brad Stroman’s work freely borrows from several Zen Buddhist principles of design; most notably, the incorporation of the aesthetic of wabi-sabi. This is a Japanese Zen Buddhist concept of the importance of transcending ways of looking at and thinking about our world and our own existence with Nature. Using wabi-sabi Brad Stroman explores ways to balance opposing forces of natural and man-made objects with an emphasis on the inherent and natural beauty of the aging process.
Brad Stroman’s style incorporates a blend of both abstraction and realism; a sort of yin and yang relationship. His highly textural background surfaces are often rendered in a very loose fashion through washes, splatters, runs and glazes on a surface built up with layers of medium, then sanded, scraped and carved. By doing this he can create a stage to play out the struggle between Man and Nature. The subject is then tightly rendered with great attention to detail of surface colors, values and textures in both natural and man-made items. Brad Stroman deliberately places objects from nature in precarious and somewhat agitated circumstances. Leaves become impaled with old nails, creekstones hang from twine, even feathers are sometimes imprisoned under rusted barbed wire. Sometimes he’ll allow the natural subject to be in a state of floating freedom in front of the viewer. The technique of trompe l’oeil is incorporated for even more visual impact. Through the observational use of cast shadows and shading on an object rendered in actual size and scale trompe l’oeil creates the illusion of three dimensions.
The compositions are deliberately austere allowing the viewer to focus on the subject matter, very often placed slightly off-center within the universal symbol of the circle. The circle stands for the cycle of life, harmony and completeness. Yet, in Brad Stroman’s work, he does not allow the circle to be complete since man does not have a completeness nor total unity with nature. One will always find the circle of harmony broken or worn away in places.
Many find Brad Stroman’s work to be contemplative and even meditative. It is through this intimate interaction between his work and the viewer that he trust’s a stronger understanding will develop concerning our tenuous daily balance between Man and Nature.