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 courses at The Open College of The Arts. Throughout this time a wide range of private commissions helped him to develop his work.


In the 90's he reorganised his career to focus on landscape. Between 1999 and 2007 he worked exclusively in a single field in North Essex, which yeilded two exhibitions, at King's College, Cambridge 2002 and Vertigo, Shoreditch, London, 2006. The shows demonstrated what concerted attention to a single place could offer contemporary art. There is an extened account of the oak project and artist in chapter six of Alain de Botton's  The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work, Penguin 2009. The story is also told in the artist's own 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.


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 


past, present, 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 European landscape tradition. 

The desire to make images of nature goes back to the cave. But in a Western urban context, making art to re-connect with nature flows through the traditions of Wordsworth and Cézanne. Artists like these countered some of the negative effects of modern life by making first hand, grounded things to read in a book or see on the wall. It's a rich tradition that treats connection with nature as a kind of personal freedom.

Early industrialisation encouraged landscape art to become central to British culture, creating a vast store of ideas and techniques for the future. So it's very appropriate that most prominent British art prize is at least named after the great landscape painter JMW Turner.

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


Phone: +44 (0)1353 667014

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


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