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Christopher Stillians

Christopher Stillians grew up in Manhattan Beach, California. After taking art classes in high school, he considered venturing into commercial art before discovering photography. Photography started as a serious hobby and eventually became his career. He earned an AA degree in Photography from El Camino Junior College and a B.A. degree in both Illustration and Portraiture from Brook’s Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California, graduating in 1974 with an “Outstanding Achievement Award.” Since then, he has worked as a carriage trade portrait photographer.

In 2005, he discovered a program called “Painter” by Corel, which allowed him to transform his photographs into paintings. He extended this technique to landscape images and various other subjects.

His journey into pastel painting began about 6-7 years ago when he stumbled upon a copy of Plein Air Magazine. He was captivated by the featured paintings and the emphasis on painting outdoors, reminiscent of his high school days. As one of five kids, his love for landscape painting grew from his childhood experiences of camping vacations with his family. He feels a deep connection to the landscapes of the West and continues to visit national parks and other places annually, often with his own kids.

At the invitation of his friend Lynn Attig, co-founder and president emerita of the Pastel Society of Southern California (PSSC), he started photographing some of her paintings in exchange for pastel painting lessons. He never looked back. Since then, he joined PSSC and IAPS (International Association of Pastel Societies) and has participated in numerous workshops with renowned pastel artists, including Otto Sturke.
Chris’ professional titles include “M.Photog.Cr.,” bestowed upon him by the P.P.A. (Professional Photographers of America), where he is a lifetime member. Currently, Chris serves as president of the PSSC, and he previously held the position of PSSC exhibition chair for two years. He is also a member of P.A.G. (Pacific Arts Group), an affiliate of the Palos Verdes Art Center.

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