Stephen Whatcott is a self-taught artist working in Worcestershire, UK, producing often minimalist paintings which occasionally spill out into more expressive or lyrical compositions. With roots based in drawing, his work tends to utilise line and form. These largely monochrome abstract paintings explore solidity, texture and composition, often executed in a seemingly aggressive, or at least expressive, manner.
In 2015 Whatcott won the Painting category of the Secret Art Prize open art competition and in 2018 was shortlisted for the Rise Art Prize.
Whatcott is represented by various galleries and consultants based in London, Chicago, Glasgow and Paris. His work is held in private collections worldwide.
The desire to create something from nothing, from nowhere, out of the blue, using my own techniques and way of doing things. It can be quite overwhelming sometimes.
Describe your creative process.
The emotional impact of the image is always the primary focus of these paintings. Ranging from great, colossal walls of paint to more free-flowing expressive forms, they are built up in many textured layers with each layer referring to the marks made previously throughout the entire process. Composed largely instinctively, the paintings are physical, both in technique and presence, but ultimately attempt to communicate on an emotional level. It is in the fundamental components of vitality, drive and feeling, the things that epitomise being alive, that are being conveyed in these pictures.
What are 3 words that best describe your work?
Force, energy and solidity.
Who are some artists that have influenced your work?
Clyfford Still, Barnett Newman, Frank Stella, Kenneth Noland, Ellsworth Kelly, Richard Serra, Robert Motherwell, Franz Kline, Helen Frankenthaler, Cy Twombly, Joan Miró, Agnes Martin and many more...
What is the most important tool when creating your work?
My favourite palette knife.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given?