Clyde Steadman got his start as an artist drawing people in coffee shops and bars. He quickly fell in love with the process, and studied at the Art Students League of Denver with noted artists like Quang Ho, Mark Daily, and Doug Dawson. Clyde describes two different kinds of painting. One is from life, either working with a model, or going out on location to paint "plein air." The other is working in the studio. He thinks of working from life as similar to gym work for an athlete. Responding immediately to what is in front of the artist sharpens his skill, and lends the work a compelling urgency. Getting a good painting is gravy. Normally he spends at least one day a week out amongst the mosquitoes and dust, fighting with the quickly changing shadows of the Colorado day. Clyde describes studio work somewhat differently. He likes to take time in the studio to plan out a painting, carefully considering the composition before committing it to paint.
"I spent so many years developing my analytical mind, it seems a shame to abandon it. Studio work seems somehow more holistic: careful analytical work on composition can be combined with the sensual thrill of playing with the artistic elements of shape, color, edges, value, and texture. A successful painting has not only a subject that speaks to the viewer, but also works as an abstract composition of the artistic elements executed in glorious gobs of paint."