Carole Stephens : painter and printmaker based in Reading, Berkshire.
Growing up living abroad from time to time, with intermittent stays with grandparents in rural Berkshire. A move to Sussex, with views of the Downs in ever changing moods, but particularly sunlit grass and strong shadows over the landscape. A mother and grandmother passionate about plants, memories of a particularly special garden. Such places and scenes are still to be found reflected in much of the work I do today. Although living and working in Reading since 1987, I remember my delight at the variety and ebullience of the plant life in a Berkshire country vicarage garden, or sultry Sussex sunlit summers.
However, recent compositions are enhanced with collage. Scraps and pieces of coloured, textured or patterned paper scraps are added to the work. This change of direction was prompted by a recent visit to Africa, the atmosphere and imagery of which is impossible toadequately reflect. I simply use the colour and texture of the worn surfaces I saw, in work I do here. In paintings I may now use the colours of the sun-dried mud, shanty hut walls, the red roads, the many patterned surfaces or hand-me-down clothes.
Printing too, especially mono-printing has now become for me a most exciting and effective way of producing evocative work. Depth and detail are produced by this simple printing process, and to it you can simply add areas of colour to create atmospheric seascapes or curious portraits. And mono-printing added to, or used on its own, may enhance or simplify my garden images.