Short biography of the artist
Stephen's carefree childhood was spent in the village of Hayfield which lies at the foot of Kinder Scout in the High Peak of Derbyshire. This is where you will find him today; quietly living his life in this idyllic setting. As a young boy he roamed freely across the hills and moors, studying nature and allowing his imagination to develop. It was from this existence that he derived the ability to immerse himself in his own imaginary world; a skill that has not left him, and provides the bedrock upon which his artworks are constructed.
His primary schooling was problematic; he struggled with spelling and writing and couldn't tell the difference between left and right. When he moved on to secondary school he was semi-illiterate. This new school did however recognise that he had an artistic ability and sent him for art school application aptitude tests. The results came back that he had failed the English exam and was rejected, so has had no formal art training. At fifteen he left school with no qualifications and went into industry.
Throughout his life he has maintained his love of art, spending as many hours as possible developing his own unique style. In 2007 he was made redundant, since when he has devoted his life to working on his art full time.
Of his artwork, Stephen says:
My greatest passion and primary motivation is my overwhelming urge to create art, and to make visionary statements accessible to the widest audience possible.
This communicative instinct means that my paintings convey as much to the youngest child as to the most experienced critic, and is why my most popular pictures have such enduring appeal. My style is hard to pinpoint, and it is difficult to associate my work with any genre. Indeed, this pure, almost childlike, way of thinking can be seen in evidence throughout my portfolio, and is the hallmark which sets me apart from many of my contemporaries. The difference with me is that the components originate in my own visionary observations, and it is this imaginative methodology that makes my art form so unique. Critics have described him as a Contemporary Artist, Folk Artist or Outsider Artist to name but a few. He is happy to be known as a Surreal Watercolourist.