Gjertson studied at the University of Minnesota but left to study at the Atelier Lack, a small nonprofit school founded by Richard Lack to teach the methods of Boston Impressionists and 19th Century French ateliers.
Gjertson is known for his still life paintings, especially floral. However he does take some portrait commissions and seems to be concentrating more on figure paintings now. His figure paintings usually have rich floral details.
I love the detail in “The Recorder Lesson”. According to the Gandy Gallery this painting was commissioned to include a musical theme, and had to include a particular vase, and the Victorian sofa that I assume is in Gjertson’s atelier. You can see this sofa in another Gjertson painting, “The Newborn”.
You can also see the influence of the traditional French masters in Gjertson’s paintings. This is not surprising because there is a clear line of Master to Apprentice training from Jean-Léon Gérôme to William Paxton, to Ives Gammell to Richard lack, to whom Gjertson apprenticed.
Stephen Gjertson is very active in art; he is a founding member of the American Society of Classical Realism, and has been part of over fifty art exhibitions either as organizer, exhibitor, or both. He is an editorial advisor of the Classical Realism Journal, and has written many articles for that journal and for other magazines.
I think Gjertson is still ‘young’ in his art and that as impressive as his works are, the best is yet to come. I’ll be watching him closely!