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:

E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Telephone: 01524 251670
Website: www.normastephenson.co.uk

Featured Artist

Matthew Draper
Draper Matthew Illuminated A View of Tantallon castle with The Bass Rock Homage to Alexander Naysmith

 ' Illuminated - A View of Tantallon Castle with the Bass Rock - Homage to Alexander Naysmith '
by
Matthew Draper

 

Matthew Draper PS

Education/Career

1973  Born Stone Staffordshire
1991-1992  Walsall College of Art
1992-1995  Falmouth College of Art

Artist’s Statement

I identify myself principally as a draughtsman; drawing being the most unencumbered and immediate form of image-making. My work is made with an intense and energetic immediacy, working instinctively rather than methodically, keeping me physically and emotionally involved in the process. I crush soft pastel in my hands rubbing the dust into the paper in wide sweeps of colour gradually manipulating the material to build up a thick layered surface using the ball of my thumb or the heel of my hand.
I am interested in and influenced by the dramatic imagery of Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century painting. I admire the idea of the contemplation of landscape in the Romantic spirit, found in the work of the German Romantics like Casper David Frederick and the notion of the grandeur of the landscape as expressed in the work of the American Subliminal Painters like Sanford Robinson Gifford and Frederick Edwin Church. These artists adopted the term ‘Luminism’, defined as light in the landscape and the effect that light has on the landscape and objects within it.
As a contemporary artist choosing to adopt this approach to light in the landscape, my interest is not to make straight forward topographical images that are illustrations of place. Instead I am attempting to make imagery that is descriptive of the circumstances under which the subject is viewed; images which convey a sense of place. The drawings are emotional reactions to events and experiences evolving in front of me; events happening or about to happen. The images become like fading memories or captured moments in time. The making of the work is in itself a set of actions and events which creates a harmony between my process and my interpretation of the subject.

Societies:

Member – The Pastel Society.

Awards:

2011  Visitors Choice Award, National Art Open Exhibition, Chichester.
2011  Regional Prize, National Open Art Exhibition, Chichester.
2011  Elected Member of the Pastel Society UK, Federation of British Artists, Mall Galleries, London.
2010  City of Glasgow Prize, Royal Glasgow Institute of the fine Arts.
2010  Connell and Connell prize, Scottish Society of Artists, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh.
2008  Shell Premium Award, Aberdeen Artists, Aberdeen Museum and Art Gallery.
2007  Chairman’s Purchase Prize, Discerning Eye Exhibition, London.
2004  Most popular work in the exhibition, Hunting Art Prizes.
2000  Alexander Graham Munro Travel Award, Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour.

Collections:

Bank of Scotland
City of Edinburgh, City Art Centre, Jean F Watson Bequest Fund.
Glasgow Museum and Art Gallery, Kelvin Grove Glasgow.
Paintings in Hospitals Scotland.

Selected Solo Exhibitions:

2013  ‘Northern Light’ Lemon Street Gallery, Truro.
2012  'Time Lapses' Open Eye Gallery Edinburgh
2011  ‘New Pastels’ Beaux Arts, Bath.
2010  ‘Festival Exhibition’ Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh.
2009  ‘In Series’ Lemon Street Gallery, Truro.
2008  ‘Luminism’ Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh.
2006  ‘Time and Place’ Beaux Arts, Bath.
2005  ‘Nostalgia’ Lemon Street Gallery, Truro.
2000  ‘Night Life’ The Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh.

Selected Group Exhibitions:

2008  Aberdeen Artists, Aberdeen Museum and Art Gallery.
2007  Discerning Eye Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London.
2007  Salon 2007, ‘New British Paintings and Works on Paper’ Portobello Road, London.   
2006  ‘Roter Salon’ Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh.
2006  The Jerwood Drawing Prize, Jerwood Space, London and touring of the UK.
2006  ‘Best of British’ Chelsea Art Gallery, Palo Alto, California.
2002  The Hunting Art Prizes, Royal College of Art, London.
2004  The Hunting Art Prizes, Royal College of Art, London.
1999  Cheltenham Open Drawing Exhibition, touring to:
          The European Drawing Collection Hull, Karl Hofer Gesellschaft,
          The Western Banhof Charlottenburgh, Berlin.

Contact Details:

Website Address: www.matthewjdraper.co.uk
E-mail: matt.draper1@hotmail.co.uk

 

     


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