Acrylic on canvas
Dimensions: 101.6cm (H) x 76.2cm (W) x 2.5cm (D) / 40" (H) x 30" (W) x 1" (D)
Note: Actual colours may vary due to photography & computer settings.
Some paintings take a long time to surface, this one has at least a half dozen under paintings. I've been experimenting with Folk Art, it runs in my family, back to my ancestors that that 1st came to America to start new lives, like Pirate Bob.
Based in: Rochester
Stephen is a figurative and abstract artist with a BS in Photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology. Believing his oil portrait work and acrylic abstract landscapes are synergistic, he switches back and forth, working progressive series in each. “Abstract landscapes for me, are like candy - they are fast, stream of conscious, get dirty works that are helping me loosen up and inspired to apply more abstraction to my figure work.” Conversely, the attention to detail required in the figure work is a skill he readily applies during final phases of an abstract, adding highlights or rendering recognizable symbols.
Stephens XScape abstract series paintings are focused on pushing land and seascapes to more primeval forms. Earth, Water, Air, Fire were used to explain the nature and complexity of all matter in ancient times and provide the inspiration for the works. “Quick drying acrylic’s lend themselves to this style of painting. I can apply paint using rollers, spray, knife, sponge, hands, hair blowers, maybe even a brush, one layer over another.” Some of his abstracts are more representational by design, others are produced solely by visualizing past experience, outdoors in nature.
The portraits Stephen paints transform every day, local people into the hero-ines they truly are. Most portraits begin with a model photo shoot to capture poses, followed by multiple design sessions before the final composition is rendered on canvas. Stephen explains that his portraits have historically been more representational, requiring tighter media control. Slowly, over time, that is changing with further abstraction. “Oil is the media of choice for portrait work, so much better than acrylics for blending skin tones, hair and clothing.”
“Trained in chemical photography, I started out my career spending hours in dark rooms, freezing time with my camera, then projecting light and processing images. Now it’s impossible to shake the concept of capturing moments time. I still use a camera in all phases of my portrait artwork, but it’s just a tool. Something better happens when I paint. And when I finally invoke a connection with another person, far deeper than what I can accomplish with a camera, there is nothing better in this world.”
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