Steve Snodgrass, M.D., F.A.C.S./BIO
My art is my story: My story is my art. Facing life-and-death emergencies, violence and overcoming my own disease are critical parts of my life, and they are reflected in my paintings.
My name is Steve Snodgrass. I am a former Chief of Surgery (General/Vascular surgeon) who now calls upon my rather unique life experiences to create my own form of art, as I now have discovered painting.
As a surgeon, most of my practice consisted of patients who experienced very serious injuries and/or illnesses. Concerning the former; many suffered from car accidents, knife and gunshot wounds. Concerning the latter, many had cancer. These operating room experiences have given me a special appreciation for the element of time. As humans, we only have so much of it on this earth. I do my best to make the most of each and every day. As I discovered, it is the only way to live, because you never know what may be just around the corner.
Eventually, everyone becomes a patient, and it wasn’t long before I had my turn.
I was 48 years old when diagnosed with glaucoma and was told I was going blind. Both eyes have been operated on twice to save my vision. I take medication every day, as I call it, “eyesight in a bottle.” I’m so fortunate to be able to see, as it has given me a very special appreciation for vision, color and art. Painting provides a great deal of indescribable joy to me and brings an element of peace to my often-turbulent life. I no longer take anything for granted.
Another part of my painting history is the fact I’m a 5th degree Black Belt in Aggressive Reactive Combat (Master Level). This is pertinent, because I do all of my painting with sticks and knives (no brushes), in a fashion consistent with the unique movements and motions I’ve learned in my decades of study in the martial arts. In a way, each painting is a visual explosion.
Being my age, 62 I also listen to the music of the Beatles and Rolling Stones. Some of my paintings reflect my interpretation of their songs and are named accordingly.
The life-and-death experiences of a surgeon, the threat of losing my eyesight, the music of a generation and the violence associated with this particular form of martial art provide the backdrop for my paintings. That being said, each one in their own way brings me peace and satisfaction. I can honestly say every painting contains a drop or two of my sweat, because each one brings its own level of intensity.
Hopefully, my paintings will provide a palpable presence in your home; one that stimulates thought, conversation, reflection and brings pure joy. My art is my story, and my story is my art. When patients chose me to be their surgeon, I was extremely humbled and honored. It doesn’t get any more personal. I feel the same should you choose to have my painting in your home. That way, I can become part of your story.