About

What is this passion for painting?

Why the attraction to watercolour?

Well I really don’t know.

Wherever I go I see watercolours.   I paint landscapes in my mind all the time.  I work out  the composition, the colours, the painting process but not always how it would look.  I sometimes take photos but prefer to sit and paint it right there.   And when I sit in front of a clean sheet of paper all the cares of living melt away and I am absorbed by mixing colours, the shape of a brush, a bead of colour and the smell of wet watercolour paper (usually Arches).  When I don’t paint for a short time I feel a sense of loss.

And sometimes I get to create really beautiful watercolours.

I remained largely ignorant of this gift for the first 30 years of my life.  But passion will not be ignored.   Fixed in my mind is a small watercolour hanging in a little used room in my lodgings as a student.  I would spend ages standing looking at it.  Once I took a sketch book and paints to Cape Point where I created two little paintings.   it was so exciting to sit and paint in that beautiful place.  Then the pressure of studying for a totally non-art related degree swamped this all out.

I believe the greatest part of the gift is an overwhelming desire to paint.

When I had completed a degree I went to work in Swakopmund, Namibia.  There I decided to take classes with Nicholas Galloway.  I still remember riding through the dark misty streets of Swakop on a high after each art lesson, my work still taped to a bread-board in my pack.

Enthralled.

So began an exhilarating and frustrating journey.  I have worked so hard.  But what joyful work!  Looking back I can see there been breakthroughs.  I have learnt to see the world in a whole new way and am still learning to paint what I want to show.  A while back I spent a year in classes with the eclectic Ryno Swart who brought a little discipline (“If you come to class next week with unstretched paper I will not let you paint”).   I have held a solo exhibition, in Swakopmund, an exhibition with a group of sculptors and lately an exhibition in my home town Somerset West,  Small Adventures.

There have been long periods when I have not painted as I have focussed on my “work”.  Once I didn’t pick up a brush for five years which is horrifying.  Now I try, with some success, to balance my time between painting, a consulting business and family.  But then again balance is stasis.  Movement requires an imbalance so I sometime burn the candle at both ends and sometimes I rest.

I am married to Aura and have three children.

I have created this site as a gallery for presenting and selling selected works.  I have told the stories behind some of the work in my blog.  Download paintings for your own viewing but please don’t print or use them without contracting with me.  I am still putting in place the mechanisms to transact the business of selling paintings.  In the meantime I agree transactions with buyers through e-mail and have sent work to various places around the world.

In my other life I assist leaders and teams achieve clarity on who they are, where they are, where they want to get to and how they will get there.  If you like you can read about that on my website: StrategyWorks.

Stephen

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