Photo copyright Ken Adlard
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.
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.
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.
e 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.
with Martin Newman for the Huffington
For autobiography and Jack Taylor's
Jack Taylor, landscape painter, 1925
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
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.