My work is a reflection of images and experiences I’ve collected, of places I’ve visited or read about. The mountains are special, I love to be in them or on them and it happened for me to paint them, as you should paint an image you love or has meaning to you. One of my favourite things is to hear about other people’s adventures and stories in these places so they might shape my own experiences and understanding. There are often extremes of environment in the places that I choose to paint and this is mirrored in the extremes of light and shadow and colour in the paintings. A suggestion of the textures of the environment is offered by the textures presented on the canvas.
Each time I start a new painting, I draw upon my experiences and try to paint it into the layers of paint. What emotion I felt, what colours I saw, what mood it created, what I could physically feel. It’s why I could paint the same scene 100 times and each time it would look different. Each time I learn as an artist too – I try to improve my skills, move the paint around in new and different ways that allow me to interpret the felt feelings so the viewer may glimpse what I saw and felt that day. I don’t try to ‘be’ anything. I don’t try to be contemporary or to pigeonhole myself in. I paint what I paint in the way I do because when I hold a knife with some paint on it, that’s what comes out onto the canvas. Sometimes, the creation of a painting lies in its destruction, with layers sometimes being peeled, scraped or chipped back before new layers are added, emulating the way landscapes are constantly worn down and recreated.
With my work, I hope to reveal colours, sounds and emotions the viewer may either be familiar with – in which case, let it be like a fond memory for them, or to entice new visitors to these landscapes, show them what can be seen and felt in such places. Its wonderful being able to offer people a unique way of bringing a part of that landscape, the colours and textures and emotions, into their home.
Stephanie is a self-taught artist who has lived in many different places. For now, she calls Belfast her home and likes to explore the Island she lives on with her young family and dog Belle.