Norma Stephenson PS 

Biographical Details:

1945 Born in Hawick, in the Scottish Borders
1962 Won a bursary to study Fine Art and Graphic Design at Sheffield Art College
Elected to the Pastel Society in 2004.

Artist’s Statement

Scottish painters have always held a special interest for me: Joan Eardley, whose work seems contemporary even today, the Scottish Colourists and now Barbara Rae and John Brown and other contemporary painters whose work is colourful and verging on the abstract.

John Blockley has been a major influence on my life and work. On first seeing his paintings I was immediately aware of a vision and interpretation of the landscape to which I could relate and have since always had great admiration for his work.

Annual holidays on the West Coast of Scotland, a childhood living on the edge of the Peak District and now in the hills of the Forest of Bowland and Dales of North Yorkshire were other influences. I feel I have a natural affinity with the wild northern landscapes. The tough squat farms and barns and the ribbon roads over the moorland are often a feature of my work.

Societies:

Member – The Pastel Society.

Method of Working:

My working approach is studio based, working from sketches and digital photography. I abstract the images to find the essence and compositional patterns. I work in pastels, acrylics or watercolour on gesso/pumice primed board and use both Unison and Daler-Rowney pastels. I work over an under-painting of either failed watercolour or watercolour washes, usually on large sized mountboard.

Often I will throw myself into a painting without any preparation. This almost always is more likely to lead to a successful outcome than is a preconceived, measured start. Often I will cover the support with watercolour or acrylic, aggressively and randomly, to achieve a patina and cover the inhibiting whit. I then slowly feel my way into the image, drawing into it with Conte and enjoying a ‘wandering line’ until it feels comfortable and balanced, with the right proportion of busy and calm areas.

I block in the main shape in pastel, but consider it important to leave some of the under painting showing for texture and interest.

There comes an inevitable point, however, where dissatisfaction sets in. Almost always this is because the painting has become too explicit, leaving nothing to the viewer’s imagination. Radical measures are required, which can result in success or disaster.

I will often dribble water into the pastel, causing rivulets and textured effects, or I will sweep my hand across the surface to remove detail. I am always looking for an abstracted personal interpretation of the subject.

Awards:

2005 The Bill Patterson Memorial Award
2003 The Cuthbert Award
2002 The Frank Herring Award
2001 The Cuthbert Award

Exhibitions:

June 2009 The Walker Gallery, Harrogate
November 2008 Orange Street Gallery, Uppingham
June 2006 The Walker Gallery, Harrogate
2006 Orange Street Gallery, Uppingham
The Wykham Gallery, Stockbridge

Contact Details:

Telephone: 01524 251670
Website: www.normastephenson.co.uk

 

Call for Entries

Featured Artist

Sheila Goodman
Goodman Winter Meadow

 ' Winter Meadow '
by
Sheila Goodman

Sheila Goodman PS

Biographical Details:

Sheila studied Graphic at High Wycombe College of Art 1967-69 and has worked as a graphic designer/illustrator in London and Hampshire. She has painted all her life, being mainly self-taught, and started to use pastel in 1987.

She was elected a member of the Society of Women artists in 1995 and the Pastel Society in 2011. Sheila works in pastel, acrylic, mixed media and collage.

She has exhibited regularly at the Mall Galleries since 1989 showing work in the RSMA, NEAC and Pastel Society. Also in the Royal West of England Academy, Bristol and Royal Academy Summer show.

Her work is in the collections of Hunting Management Group, Hampshire County Council and the Russell-Cotes Museum, Bournemouth.

Artist’s Statement

After years of working with pastel, Sheila's approach has gradually changed and developed. In the last few years she has studied more abstract work as she tries to convey the essence of the landscape in simplified forms. She uses colour to express the atmosphere of my subject - sometimes using colour themes to enhance the mood.

Though she likes to initially work from the landscape to record shapes, colours and tones, she is interested in making a statement as succinctly as possible. So Sheila also likes to work from the studio to clarify her ideas with collage or further drawings.

Societies:

Member – The Pastel Society.

Other Societies:

Society of Women Artists

Method of Working:

Sheila's paintings start from the observation of the landscape. She draws or paints sketches using pencil, charcoal or water based media. She works broadly and tries to simplify. In the studio Sheila usually draws some thumbnails to decide format and media. This may be followed by more drawings or collage to enable me to focus on shape or colour.

Sheila works on various pastel papers or mountboard and continues until most areas of the painting are resolved. A second look weeks later may lead to further adjustments.

Awards:

Most Popular Painting - SWA 2008
Best in Show - St. Barbe Museum Lymington 2008
Unison Pastel Award - Pastel Society 2009

Other Exhibitions:

Russell-Cotes Museum, Bournemouth 2010
Autumn Exhibition, Gallery SCA, Shropshire 2010
Peter Hedley Gallery, Wareham 2009
Hackwood Arts Festival 2009
Alresford Gallery 2009

Publications:

Limited Edition Print x6 - Dayfold
Non-Limited Edition - Rosentiels Prints x 4
'Leisure Painter' Magazine 2010
'The Artist' Magazine 1996
'Pastel Journal' 2010
'The Wessex Muse' Magazine 2009

Website:

http://www.sgart.co.uk/ 

     


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