Artist

 

 

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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. As a post graduate he worked on perception and technique in John Constable at Essex University and visiting student at Yale. After two years as artist in residence at Felsted School, through the 80's Stephen turned from theory to practice. Teaching art history part-time and for a while Head of Painting at The Open College of The Arts, a wide range of commissions also helped him to develop his own work.

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, producing two shows, at King's College, Cambridge 2002 and Vertigo, Shoreditch, London, 2006.

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. Also developing a method of mapping colour textures from digital HDR images to help parse complex natural scenes.

exhibitions and events click here

For more background see  Oak: one tree, three years, fifty paintings, Stephen Taylor, Princeton Architectural Press 2011. There is an account of the artist and the oak project by Alain de Botton in chapter six of his The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work, Penguin 2009.

interview 
with Martin Newman for the Huffington Post  click here 


 


For autobiography and Jack Taylor's painting

click here 

Grand Dad Web 

Jack Taylor, landscape painter, 1925

Why put your grandfather on your website?

My grandfather painted in his spare time and sometimes copied the work of other artists. But he also observed and made landscapes first hand, for himself.

This desire to make first hand contact with nature belongs to a tradition of art that links the richness of nature to personal freedom - the tradition of Coleridge, Wordsworth and Cézanne. You might argue that these artists, grandad included, used art to counter some of the negative effects of urban life. But whatever their reasons, they all tried to make new, grounded, first hand things, to read in the hand or see on the wall. 

Like any art, landscape art can be clichéd and bland; but the best shows an openess and potential that crosses  generations. 

Jack Taylor left his village blacksmith's home to work in a Birmingham city Brewery office. But in his own time, he painted. I grew up in a suburb, went to university, and now paint full time. I never met my grandfather, but we work in the same tradition. 

Perhaps because of its very early industrialisation, landscape art is important in Britain. Our most prominent modern art prize is named after a landscape painter, JMW Turner.

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