Custom Search
CivicLifeSportsSchoolsBusinessFoodOur HomesLetters/OpinionsCalendar

Published Octobwer 3rd, 2018
Artist Michael Stehr shows work at Tally Home in Orinda
Photo Sora O'Doherty

Tally Home in Orinda will host a reception and display works of local artist Michael Stehr at 5 p.m. Oct. 18. Currently some five of Stehr's pieces are on display in the shop. Stehr is a self-taught artist. A couple of years after he graduated from Stanford in 1991 with an art history degree, Stehr began to study the works of his favorite artists to learn how they handled techniques such as composition and color. Working alone in his studio, he copied his favorite works, learning in the manner of art students often seen copying great works of art in European museums. Stehr's favorite artist is Camille Corot. He likes to say that he's learned from his favorite artists and has had the greatest teachers. Corot, who painted in the early 19th century, was an inspiration to the Impressionists who followed him.
Unlike Corot, however, Stehr doesn't have an allowance from wealthy parents that allowed him the luxury of painting without concern about supporting his family. So Stehr in his day job is a decorative artist, offering his clients a range of special finishes for their interior decorating, including murals, gold leafing, and trompe l'oeil work. Stehr learned his trade putting himself through college as a house painter.
Stehr devotes himself to his fine art work on evenings, weekends and holidays. But he says, "I don't consider this work. It isn't a hardship; I would do it for fun." Nevertheless, Stehr actually does work very hard. He won't exhibit his works unframed, and doesn't want to spend what it would take to frame his works, so he does it himself. He has an annual exhibit at the Piedmont Center for the Arts each November, for which he produces some 40 new paintings and fabricates the frames for each, doing his own carpentry and metal leafing on the frames.
In addition, Stehr applies his art history expertise leading groups of art lovers through Rome and Paris several times a year. He has just conducted his 16th guided tour of Rome. He shares his own experience of the art aloud with his clients. He did his first guided tour in 2000. "It's been fun to build relationships," he notes, "with both the art and the people." He feels at home staying in the same hotels each time he visits. In fact, he has had an exhibition of about 16 of his paintings, which he brought over and displayed in the hotel where he stays. His clients usually extend their trips, either before or after joining him for the guided art tour. He is currently putting together a trip for painters, where they can practice their art in a European setting, likely either Sienna, Italy or the Loire Valley in France.
Stehr has done a lot of work in the Carmel home of Tally Home founder Megan Lindberg's father. Lindberg admires Stehr's European flare, which is what she wants people to experience at Tally Home. "I want it to feel like people are walking into Europe," she says of her store. The Oct. 18 event will be a Meet the Artist Open House, with light appetizers, wine and other beverages, starting at 5 p.m.

print story

Before you print this article, please remember that it will remain in our archive for you to visit anytime.
download pdf
(use the pdf document for best printing results!)
Send your comment to:
Reach the reporter at:

This article was published on Page B5:

Quick Links for LamorindaWeekly.com
send artwork to:
Classified ads
Lamorinda Service Directory
About us and How to Contact us
Letter to the Editor
Send stories or ideas to:
Send sports stories and photos to:
Subscribe to receive a delivered or mailed copy
Subscribe to receive storylinks by email
Our Homes
Copyright Lamorinda Weekly, Moraga CA