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American Art Collector October 2023

I am so happy to share the news that one of my paintings is on the cover of American Art Collector magazine’s October 2023 issue. Check out the feature below, where I talk about the recent work for my upcoming exhibition in New York City.

American Art Collector / October 2023

Over years of collecting, Christopher Stott has amassed roughly 100 clocks, 25 typewriters and 80 cameras, not to mention an array of colorful trunks and countless books. These, and a handful of other carefully vetted objects like old telephones and gumball machines, are the building blocks of his crisp still lifes.

These aren’t your run of the mill objects— some of his cameras are 120 years old, and Stott doesn’t collect or paint anything made after 1960.

“I’m lucky my wife sees value in everything I collect,” says Stott. “But every so often I’ll come home with a really expensive typewriter, and I’ll get a look like, ‘I hope that doesn’t sit around for three years before you paint it.’”

Rather than exude and evoke nostalgia for yesteryear, Stott’s pieces are matter of fact and straightforward—in positioning and tone. They are almost devoid of emotion, that is, until you start reading between their neat, orderly lines.

“If someone feels a sense of nostalgia that’s fine…I think it’s more a sense of melancholy,” Stott says, adding that the old cameras would often still have film in them. “It was so old it couldn’t be developed, but I would always think of who was using it and what they were doing and the circumstances of why the film was left inside the camera.”

On the surface, the objects are simply beautiful forms. There is something satisfying and soothing in the symmetrical compositions, and the way the shapes fit together—the square trunks and camera cases offset by the circular faces of the clocks and camera lenses—into a visually pleasing arrangement of color, order and form.

The compositions and the act of painting them have a calming effect on the artist as well.

“Living in a world of chaos—from family life and beyond—it seems you can’t control anything,” says Stott. “In my painting practice, I can find a sense of control. I can create a sense of order and tidiness in my paintings. Painting slowly and intentionally is a form of meditation. It’s a calm place that I can actually exist in and when someone looks at my paintings I think they can get that sense of order and calmness as well.”

Stott often works on several pieces at once, allowing the canvases to strike up a dialogue. For instance, Wishing Well and 1938 Royal KHM Typewriter ended up representing different stages of life. The former has a glass full of colored pencils and primary school readers from the 1930s and ’40s; while the latter, with a typewriter and standard graphite pencils, has a more serious, adult feel.

At 40-by-30 inches, the works are slightly larger than life. Although he has been experimenting with aerial views, they are typically presented head-on, on a white shelf under high, bright light, suggestive of a product display. “I’m marrying the old traditions and techniques of the Dutch Masters with a modern advertising aesthetic,” he explains.

Stott’s renderings are a way of honoring these objects and the stories, like secrets, they contain. It extends beyond their appearance into the other sensory qualities associated with them—the musty smell ofold books, the sound of a ticking clock, the punch of a typewriter key, the click of a camera, pencil on paper.

“That’s what I want people to see—there’s actually a life to these things,” he says. “[We’re so fixated on the latest technology] we’ve become almost completely blind to the stepping stones that got us here. I think the initial invention is the real breakthrough and then there’s everything that came after.”

New Work for New York

I have been working in the studio every day for the past three months. Well, I did take four days off to visit with family, but I made up for lost time by working in the evenings because I have an upcoming exhibition in New York City with the George Billis Gallery. The show goes up on October 3, and I have just sent the first batch off to the framers. I’m down to the wire finishing up the last few pieces before I can officially relax and come up for air.

In a few weeks, I’ll share the new paintings. This one here won’t be part of the show. It’s already on its way to a collector in New Jersey, as it was sold before it even went to the gallery.

Three Gumball Machines / 40 x 30 inches / oil on canvas / 2023


I found this great little trunk with the heavily tarnished clasps, buckles, and the burst of colour from the trunk’s body. There’s a formula I like to apply that helps a painting become a reality — the repetition of the circles and the repeating shapes of the case’s metallic components, everything is almost mathematically figured.

Seven Clocks / 36 x 30 inches / oil on canvas / 2023 / on the easel

There is significance in the number seven and the way the circular shapes of the clocks, bells, camera lenses, and flashes seem to be like clusters of bubbles, something I find satisfying. I had fun working on these two pieces. They’ll be shown at the upcoming Art Market San Francisco art fair on April 20-23 with the Billis Williams Gallery.

Seven Cameras / 36 x 30 inches / oil on canvas / 2023 / on the easel

I’m Still Here

A few people contacted me asking if everything was going okay in my world. They were prompted by what appeared to be me vanishing into the ether. But I am still here, every day, painting as I always have and probably always will do.

I have new paintings to be part of a big art fair in San Francisco and a group show in Charleston.

Below is a glimpse of one that I just put the finishing touches on. More frequent updates will come as I get back into the groove of sharing my work after an enjoyable and refreshing hiatus.

Underwood Standard Portable Typewriter / applying the finishing touch

Art Market Hamptons 2022

Here are two new paintings, shown on the easel, that the George Billis Gallery will have at Art Market Hamptons on the east coast, which runs from August 11–14, 2022.

Ampro Projector & Case / 40 x 30 inches / oil on canvas / 2022 / on the easel

The galleries keep me busy with exhibitions and several fairs throughout the year. I am already set to work for the upcoming fall fairs.

Globe / 40 x 30 inches / oil on canvas / 2022 / on the easel

Upcoming Fairs

I just completed this piece for the upcoming Seattle Art Fair, where the George Billis Gallery will showcase this and some other paintings. The fair runs from July 21—24.

Red Royal De Luxe / 36 x 30 inches / oil on canvas / 2022

A fellow painter reached out to me and told me they had this fantastic classic typewriter — I have the same model but in blue. So I jumped at the chance to paint a red one.

And now I have to set to work on new paintings for an art fair on the other side of the continent — The Hamptons art fair, which runs from August 11—14.

A Pilgrimage

I am back home in my studio after a journey to New York City to attend the opening reception for my exhibition that runs through to June 11. On the evening of the 26th, I had the chance to meet with and talk to collectors — and send some paintings on their way to new homes where I know they’ll be appreciated for ages to come. Sitting in a studio working on paintings can be a solitary experience, so it is redemptive to meet people who share an interest in what you do and are enthusiastic enough to talk to you about art for a good half hour.

On the Gallery Wall / George Billis Gallery / New York City / May 26, 2022

When asked to come to New York, I jumped at the opportunity. I would treat it like a pilgrimage to the art galleries; my mission would be to meander at my own pace. I visited The Museum of Modern Art, The Frick Collection, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. I went back to the MoMA and The Met twice; I wanted to get my money’s worth. I clocked nearly 20km a day on foot as I took guided tours and spent much time soaking up the atmosphere. These galleries also offer self-guided audio tours, so I listened to many curators and art historians talking about numerous artworks. I came home feeling fulfilled and satisfied. It was a good trip.

The remainder of my summer will be in my studio, working on a commission and four new large paintings for upcoming art fairs in Seattle and The Hamptons.

American Art Collector March 2022

American Art Collector magazine has featured my work in the past, and it is always an honour to be invited to do so again. Below you can read a recent interview about my latest body of work for my 6th solo exhibition at the George Billis Gallery in Los Angeles.

American Art Collector / March 2022 / Issue 197 / page 94-95

British Columbia artist Christopher Stott introduces a new collection of work displayed at George Billis Gallery in Los Angeles, California, through March 26. He continues to paint in his distinctive, realistic style, featuring still life, vintage objects like typewriters, box cameras, clocks and books. In keeping with the tradition of the early Dutch Masters, who have had a huge influence on his work, his pieces are full of significance and hidden meaning.

“At first glance, Stott’s paintings are elegantly refined compositions of objects on a monochromatic background,” says Tressa Williams, director at George Billis Gallery, “but digging a little deeper, the viewer falls down a rabbit hole of symbolism…Stott is part of a new generation of representational painters pushing the genre forward in fantastic ways.

It’s true that Stott has been painting the same genre, always still life objects. “In fact,” he says, “the telephone is the first object I ever painted 20 years ago.” He notes that a vintage, black rotary phone was the first object given to him in art class to paint. “What makes it still fresh?” he continues, “the idea is still relevant to today. With a receiver, you’re both talking and listening. You must stop and listen before talking; it’s a one-on-one conversation. Now, we live in a world where everyone screams over everyone else, but no one is listening.”

In Telephone Receiver I, a highly realistic black telephone on a gray background with a pencil nearby, one can clearly see the simplicity behind his vision. “The idea behind this is very subtle,” says Stott. “I’m not telling people to shut up and listen but rather, offering a meditation on real and meaningful conversations.”

The formal aspects of painting are also important to Stott, which goes hand in hand with history. “I really think that good art is connected to art history,” he says. “It has to have a bridge or passage directly to the history of painting. My subjects are old enough to be in our living memory, but the style, technique and composition are hundreds of years old.”

This is illustrated in The Interpretation of Dreams 112021, featuring a collection of vintage books with a clock on a white shelf. The way Stott uses these props is reminiscent of master still life painter Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin. “He was the first to have stepped out of academic painting and painted strangely intimate, quiet paintings,” says Stott. “[The new collection] is a direct homage to paintings done in 1766. The same ideas of what they were doing several hundred years ago are still relevant to us now.”

Stott utilizes the same techniques that Dutch masters were using 400 years ago. He works in many layers to create a luminous effect under different lighting. It’s also very much about balance and symmetry for Stott, which is represented in his clock pieces. For instance, 10:10, No. 10. is painted on a 10-by-10-inch canvas with the clock hands set to 10:10.

A component also near to the artist’s heart is the history of vintage objects and even the process of searching them out. “For this particular show, I want the experience to be how I experience walking into an antique shop or museum,” Stott says. “You come upon them and look at them a little closer.” The show will have smaller paintings with several hanging closer together in groupings, so as to mimic this feeling. He adds, “I [want people to see] how I like to isolate these items and give them a new life.”

Work in Progress

I have eight paintings in my studio that I have not shared yet. Here is one that I just put the finishing touch on. I am focused on working toward my upcoming February 2022 exhibition in Los Angeles. It’s just easier to spend my time painting to forget about taking photos of the progress and constantly being tied to social media.

Rotary Telephone and HB Pencil / 12 x 16 inches / oil on canvas / on the easel / 2021

This was a bit of a battle to complete, but I’m pleased with the outcome.

The next several months will be painting for an upcoming solo exhibition in Los Angeles. I have been exhibiting my work in galleries for twelve years now, and every time, the gear up and anticipation for making a large body of work always feels the same — I fluctuate between being kind of nervous and kind of excited.

5¢ / 48 x 36 inches / oil on canvas / on the easel / 2021