Victor Denfrey Steele passed from this life May 2, 2008. He braved an illness for many years with great courage and determination. This blog is to honor his work as an artist. It is our hope that somewhere he is surrounded in colors which far surpass those wonderful ones he mixed on his palette in his lifetime.
We miss you.
Your loving family and friends.
Victor Denfrey Steele 1937-2008
Victor Denfrey Steele grew up in Haleyville, Alabama, loving three things; baseball, airplanes and art.
His first career was as a Marine fighter pilot. Throughout his life in the Corps, and even while in Vietnam, he maintained his interest in drawing and painting. After retiring from the Marine Corps at age 42 as Lieutenant Colonel, Vic began his second career in art. He studied for four years in Atlanta with the Chatovs - Roman, Constantin, and briefly with Roman's son Marc. Roman and Constantin, now deceased, were Russian immigrants "of the old school" who painted portraits of Georgia notables for decades and are known for their elegant paintings of the nude figure.
Vic's work was heavily influenced by the Chatovs, but he evolved a slightly more impressionistic style. Vic's figures, landscapes, and still life paintings are realistic in shape, form, and value, although the intensity of his colors were exaggerated or muted to suit his purpose. Here you will find a good sampling of his work.
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air. . . .
Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
~ John Gilespie Magee, Jr.
When Earth's last picture is painted
and the tubes are twisted and dried
When the oldest colors have faded
and the youngest critic has died
We shall rest, and faith, we shall need it
lie down for an aeon or two
Till the Master of all good workmen
shall put us to work anew
And those that were good shall be happy
they'll sit in a golden chair
they'll splash at a ten league canvas
with brushes of comet's hair
They'll find real saints to draw from
Magdalene, Peter, and Paul
they'll work for an age at a sitting
and never be tired at all.
And only the Master shall praise us
and only the Master shall blame
And no one will work for the money
no one will work for the fame
But each for the joy of the working,
and each in his separate star,
will draw the thing as he sees it,
for the God of things as they are!