Stephen Bishop is a full time professional artist who lives and paints by the Dorset Coast. His recent oil paintings are imbued with a haunting sense of the past, evoking the Dorset beloved by Thomas Hardy. Stephen's paintings reflect a sense of life flowing back and forth; of echoes reverberating across time. In addition to the Dorset Landscape, Stephen finds inspiration from photography and poetry. The "Four Quartets" by T.S. Eliot have particular resonance for Stephen. His latest work explores his continued fascination with light on the sea.
Martin Goold, Artist and Director of the Artwave West Gallery in Dorset wrote; Stephen Bishop's new paintings combine his fascination with the illusory nature of light and water with a new interest in the experience of place through the veil of recollection. Against the backdrop of the disorder of contemporary life Bishop's new paintings
glow like coloured beacons of optimism.
Stephen trained in Design at the Berkshire College of Art and is essentially a self taught fine artist. After a spell in London and a 3 month residency in an artist's studio in Andalucía, Stephen made the decision to move to Dorset to work directly from Nature. His painting "Lady Digby's Garden at Minterne" was a finalist in the Winsor & Newton Young Artist Award at the Royal Society of Oil Painters Exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London. His work has been shown at the BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery. His full scale portrait painting of his grandparents, "Mr. & Mrs. Roberts" made it through to the finals of the prestigious BP Portrait Award at the NPG in 1994. The work had a stunning review in the Telegraph newspaper.
Many of Stephen's landscapes are inspired and completed "en plein air" in all weather conditions in one energetic session. Nature providing rich inspiration, as it did for his heroes, Constable, Turner and especially Vincent Van Gogh.
Stephen said, " I have a strong need to be creative as a way of exploring the world and of realising myself. The main concerns explored in my work are the forces of nature. One major recurring theme is the balance between Light and Dark as well as a sense of time and place. Dorset provides a rich sense of place, dreams and memory that I have fostered since childhood. Increasingly, I am concerned with engaging with a sense of spirituality in my art. To evoke powerful emotions and ideas in the viewer as always been my main desire".
Stephen's paintings are being increasing collected by discerning art lovers worldwide. He has some notable patrons Including Sir Anthony Caro and Lady Sheila Girling.
Constable said that "painting is another word for feeling", this is a statement which Stephen's work richly exemplifies.