Stephen Rountree, artist

After years of designing computer graphics, Stephen is getting back to creating tangible art that people want to collect and have in their homes.

I am a follower of Jesus Christ, a husband to Betsy and father of two. At our home in the woods of rural eastern Virginia, we’re surrounded by red and white oaks and the occasional holly. Deer and turkeys share the woods with squirrels and owls as our nearest neighbors. I began my professional career as a cartoonist for a small weekly newspaper, working in blue pencil with pen, brush, and ink. For many years I worked full time as a visual journalist, illustrator, and designer. Virtually all of my work after the early 90s was on the computer and I spent most of my career designing and illustrating information graphics and digital illustrations for newspapers and national magazines.

But I was drawn back to creating art that was tangible. Something I could pick up and hold, smell, and feel. Work that would hang on a wall, not hide on a hard drive.

In the fall of 2013, I began to get a vision of what would become Salvaged Messengers. The idea persisted, so I began sketching and drawing. These would be sculptures and other works through which I could express the truth of God’s Word. The more I sketched, the more I sensed a desire to move from the drawing board to the workbench. I had not created much traditional art in a long time. My first piece illustrated Proverbs 31. It’s rough and crude looking, but I created it for Betsy, who lives out so much of that passage, and I finished it Christmas eve, 2013. My hope is that through my art, people will have a Philippians 4:8 moment, and find themselves thinking on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy — that they’ll find beauty and inspiration and meditate on God, who salvages us through Jesus Christ.