I graduated from the Byam Shaw School of Art, London, in 2001, and have worked as a commissioned artist ever since. Upon graduation, I decided to leave behind the installations and wall paintings and go back to my first love- figurative, oil on canvas. I started to produce a series of nudes and have continued ever since. It is only recently that I've realised, through chatting with a client, why I have chosen the nude as my form of expression- I used to be a dancer and after many years of using my own body to express my self it now makes sense that I should paint it! I don't like to paint the face in the paintings as I don't want the intrusion of a possible overriding facial expression- I want the body to do the communicating. I like to juxtapose the detail and sumptuousness of the body with a simple monochromatic, block coloured or geometric background or 'landscape'. The figure in the landscape represents the idea of finding yourself in a foreign environment (physically, mentally and spiritually) and willingly submitting, the way we sometimes do in dreams. I've also started to add to this theme, a series of 'hand' works, partly inspired by the music of Julia Grey and partly because I just love how expressive hands can be!
Also working as a commissioned adults and children's portrait, I've had the privilege of working with some wonderful people- the actress Sheila Hancock, respected theatre director Terry Johnson and renowned cardiologist Mr Romeo Vecht. When painting a portrait, I think it is imperative to produce the physical likeness and attributes of the subject but what is just as important is to capture the person's spirit, whether that person be an adult whose life story may be embedded in their facial feature or a very young child whose personality is less forthcoming We often talk about the notion of 'the aura' in the artworld and I think this is particularly applicable to portraiture; as cheesy as it may sound, the eyes really do need to come alive, follow you around the room, tell a thousand stories.
Portraiture should be charmingly haunting.
Whether working on a nude, a child's portrait or a large black and white portrait of an actress from the 70s, the work has to produce a visceral, as well as cerebral, effect. I particularly love working on a large scale!
Born 1978, London
Educated at The Byam Shaw School of Art, London, 1999-2001, BA (Hons) Fine Art.
Stephanie has exhibited her nudes at various galleries throughout London including Beverly Knowles Fine Art (Notting Hill), Chambers Gallery (Smithfields), 'A' Gallery (Wimbledon) and Candid Gallery (Islington). She currently has a selection of large black and white portraits of actresses from the 1970s on display at One Alfred Place (c/o Store Street Gallery, Bloomsbury) - following a commission, these portraits are based on a notion of non-celebrity, where the image encapsulates the work of the actress as well as her beauty -a feminist film critique. Stephanie also has some hand studies and her portrait of Her Majesty displayed at Dexter and Co (c/o Go Figurative Gallery, Hampstead). Her portrait of Her Majesty (Queen Elizabeth II) was shortlisted for The Diamond Jubilee Portrait Competition.
Stephanie is always happy to discuss any commission ideas and welcomes all ages for portraits.