Seeing Water

Almost these mindless waters work
as though they had a soul

                                     Rudyard Kipling

• Waterfall

• The Rheidol

rewilding sessile oak near Plynlimon
  • October 2020, Podcast : Trees in Art & Literature : James Canton, Gabriel
    Hemery, Irina Antonets and Stephen Taylor, with Sharon Hosegood Associates, and see BBC Radio 4 Tree Week Podcast read by Jonathan Keeble
  • July 2020, James Canton The Oak Papers  published. Features an interview with the artist and is BBC Radio 4's Book of The Week August 3rd -7th.

"At his house, I’m led up the stairs to a living room-cum-studio where a painting of a waterfall still on its easel dominates the space. He has just finished it. The water that both rushes in torrents and mills in pools is incredibly lifelike. Stephen is a remarkable painter of nature. The detail and verisimilitude are astonishing. Yet Stephen knows that it is the oak paintings I have come to talk about..."

  • January & February 2020 : field trip to Furnace waterfall, Eglwysfach, Ceredigion.
  • July 2019 : after an attack of vertigo, spent summer learning to walk again and autumn working on small waterfall paintings.
  • May & June 2018 : field trip to Furnace waterfall, Eglwysfach, Ceredigion.
  • May 12th 2018 : Bloomsbury Publishing in association with University of Hertfordshire, at St Alban's Cathedral Study Centre, Why Painting Matters. Presentations by Dr Anthony Rudd, Rev. Iain Lane & the artist.
  • September 16th - 21st  2017 : The Quay Gallery, Snape, Suffolk Water Everywhere painting class annual show in aid of WaterAid.
  • June 12th 2017 : South West London Arts Society lecture, Maps and British
    Painting,  8.00pm Dryburgh Hall, Putney Leisure Centre, Richmond, London.
  • June 8th 2017 : South Wales Arts Society lecture, Maps and British Painting, 2.00pm Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff.
  • May 11th 2017: West Cornwall Arts Society lecture, launch of Geography of
    Art Series : Maps and Rocks in British Painting, 7.30 Zennor Lecture Theatre, Penwith College, Penzance.
  • July 16th 2016 : John Clare Society Festival, Helpston, Peterborough. Exibition of prints.
  • May 2015 Huffington Post: Oak, one of 8 books to read for a long holiday.
  • March 2nd, 2014 : Dedication. The Bishop of Stepney dedicates new panels for the altar of St. Bartholomew's, Craven Park Rd, Stamford Hill, London.
  • July 2013 : field trip to the Rheidol valley, Ceredigion.
  • December 2012 presentation of a painting of malting barley to The Brewers Company, Brewers' Hall, City of London.
Brewers' Hall, London: photo courtesy ITA Venues
  • July 2012 New Zealand: Friends of Te Papa, National Gallery, Wellington on Walter Sickert & Nelson Arts Society on the Oak project.
  • 18th April 2012 6.30 for 7.00pm talk and book signing at The Idler Academy, 81 Westbourne Park Road, W2 London  
  • 22nd March 2012.6.00pm Talk and book signing at Belgravia Books, 59 Ebury Street, SW1 London  
  • Spring 2012, The Weekender :Der Eichenmann, interview with Jona Piehl 
    Der Brite Stephen Taylor hat drei Jahre lang ein und dieselbe Eiche auf einem Feld in East Anglia gemalt. Begegnung mit einem genauen Beobachter.
  • January - February 2012 Field trip : water in the Rheidol valley


Oprah Winfrey Book of The Week : "Some books show you how to laugh, some show you how to think, but, every once a while, one will show you how to live. The exquisite Oak: One Tree, Three Years, and Fifty Paintings follows of the story of artist Stephan Taylor who decided to paint the same oak tree in the English countryside every day for three years.... As the oak changes by the month or hour, the surrounding environment changes.... A singular plant becomes a talisman for the passage of time and seasonsand you, as viewerbegin to change too, becoming more observant and aware of the tiny yet enormous natural transformations that take place each day and minute. Seeingin the truest senseis the lesson here, one that's taught with such elegance that you'll be bewitched into stopping and contemplating the birch or maple in your own yard that's servingas T.S. Elliot once described treesas "the still point of the turning world."  

Guardian Gallery feature  : See here

New Statesman Picture Book of The Week : "...and in all weathers. The result of this gentle fanaticism is what he describes as a 'journey that explored a single location'". p49 January 2 2012

Art and Architechture Journal :  Read here

Huffington Post, Martin Newman: "... full of analysis of sunlight and shadow, of gradients of paint and how the eye plays tricks on the mind. It is the diary of an artisan, obsessive in its chronicling of technique and the thought processes that led to the final image.....But on personal details it is scant..." Read more here    and in The Daily Mirror  here

Essex County Standard : " Red Lion Books, Colchester, owner Peter Donaldson said  "It is a unique book the likes of which we haven't seen before." p73, November 25 2011 

A-N Magazine  : " Taylor's mix of observation and digital innovation invites a reassessment of British landscape painting - finding new relationships with nature on our own doorstep." p.24, February 2012

The Guardian : Robert Macfarlane on new perspectives on trees: " ...elsewhere, the painter Stephen Taylor continues his of the same oak tree in Essex..."  Read  here 

some blogs:

Joe Moran's Blog: " John Mollon, professor of neuroscience at the University of Cambridge, has described Taylor's work as 'parsing nature'. I wish I could notice the day as it passes as lovingly and perceptively as Taylor does in these paintings. My days hurry by in a homogeneous haze of fluorescent strip lighting and computer screen glow." Read here

Morning News: "... a profound treatise on beauty, change, and the enormous challenge of seeing the real world clearly."  Read here  

A Common Reader: "... observation stripping away preconcieved ideas of "oak tree" and replacing them with wholly new discoveries..."   Read here 

  • October 2010 - Summer 2011: Lived one meter below sea level in a small house on the fens painting water and writing 'Oak'.



  • August and September 2010: Lecture tour, Australia and New Zealand. Topics: Observation, material and imagination in John Constable; Trompe L'oeil and interiors.
  • Alain de Botton's The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work published in 2009, chapter six is an account of the working practices of the artist :
    "...It is the close of an exceptionally hot summer day. Taylor is outside in his field, preparing to work through the night.
    The moon is rising above the nearby village of West Bergholt, a view which he spent four and a half years painting before shifting to the richer possibilities of a single tree..."                                                                                                  
  • O.K. Harris, 383 West Broadway, NY 10012, NY, USA view paintings by request, Spring to September
  • The Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries, London
    November 2007
  • O.K Harris, 383 West Broadway, NY 10012, NY , USA
    Summer Invitational Exhibition
    June2 - July13; September 4-8, 2007
  • Vertigo , Shoreditch, London
    OAK : one man show about a single tree (below)
    Autumn 2006
  • Bernarducci Meisel Gallery, 37 West 57th Street, New York, USA :Industrial Landscapes in Contemporary Painting. Showing London from Primrose Hill September 2005
  • March 2005, visit to Walden Pond, Concord, Massachusetts, USA
  • Mark Jason Gallery, New Bond Street, London"Scapes", group show 28th June - 23 July 2004
  • St Paul's Gallery, Northwood Street , Birmingham, U.K. " Blow Up" New painting and photoreality. February - April 2004 (Catalogue available from )
  • Vertigo
    "30x30" group show
    December 2003
  • Vertigo
    "Paperwork" group show
    August 2003
  • Blue Gallery, Great Sutton Street , London.
    "Landscape" group show
    October 2003
  • Vertigo, Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch, London.
    "Landscape" group show
    Spring 2003
  • King's College Cambridge, The Arts Centre. New Paintings. One man show focusing on a single field near West Bergholt on the Essex/Suffolk border - (Catalogue) Spring 2002
Art London : Vertigo


   • Art London, Chelsea With Vertigo Gallery, Summer 2006
   • Art London, Chelsea, June 2004 with Vertigo Gallery, Summer 2004
   • London Art Fair, Islington. January 2004, with Vertigo Gallery
   • 20/21 British Art Fair 2003, Blue Gallery
   • Art London, Chelsea, Summer 2003, with Vertigo Gallery
   • Olympia, Spring 2003, Mark Jason Gallery, New Bond Street, London


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