artist

photo copyright Ken Adlard
photo copyright Ken Adlard

early work

Stephen Taylor studied Fine Art at Leeds University with T.J. Clark and was taught observational painting by Paul Gopal Choudhury. He then worked on perception and technique in John Constable at Essex University and as a visiting student at Yale. After two years as resident artist at Felsted School, Stephen turned from theory to practice while teaching art history part-time and leading the Painting Department at The Open College of The Arts. Throughout this period a wide range of private commissions helped him to develop his practice.

change

In the 90's he rethought his career to focus on landscape. Between 1999 and 2007 he worked exclusively in a single field in North Essex, showing what a concerted attention to nature in modern painting could be. The field yeilded two exhibitions, at King's College, Cambridge in 2002 and Vertigo, Shoreditch, London, 2006. There is an extened account of both project and artist by Alain de Botton in chapter six of his The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work, Penguin 2009. The story is also told through Stephen's illustrated book "Oak: one tree, three years, fifty paintings", Princeton Architectural Press, 2011 

An altarpiece, The Hospitality of Abraham, for The Church of The Most Holy Trinity, Reading, 2004, is an exception to this landscape work, though it sets redemptive figures within the created world.

now

Painting water in a small valley in Wales, and further developing a method of mapping colour textures from digital HDR images to help parse complex natural scenes.

interview: with Martin Newman for the Huffington Post click here 

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past, present and future

The man in the waistcoat was my grandfather, Jack Taylor. He left his village blacksmith's home to work in a Brewery office in Birmingham - but he also found time to paint. I grew up in a suburb, went to university and now paint full time. We never met, but we work in the same tradition of observed, hand painted landscape. 

The desire to make pictures of nature goes back to the cave. But in an industrialised, Western context, making art to re-connect with nature springs from the more recent approach of Wordsworth and Cézanne. Artists like these used their work to counter some of the negative effects of modern life, trying to make grounded, first hand things to read in a book or see on the walls of a home. It's a rich tradition that treats a connection with nature through art as a kind of personal freedom. Both art form and its purpose apply today.

Early industrialisation meant landscape art in all its forms became central to British life. The most prominent British art prize is named after a great landscape painter, JMW Turner.

Paintings and prints available. For information, images and all other enquiries please contact

Email: st@stephentaylorpaintings.com

Phone: +44 (0)1353 667014

Letter: Coach House, 7 Douglas Court, Ely, Cambs, CB7 4SE, UK

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