Val Stephenson

 

 

Val exudes energy and a child like sense of adventure and wonder. Her paintings reflect this. They are a direct, painterly response to what is around her. It could be painting en plain air on a clifftop  or with a bunch of flowers in a favourite jug in the studio.

The paintings are brimming with energy and excitement. There is nothing too ‘clever’ or arty  about them … just  this hand, this brush, this paint, this place and a dash of her enthusiasm.

When Val’s painting is going well she describes a sense of exhilaration, spaciousness, and pure joy. A  joy that seems to flow freely like a sunny breezy clifftop day. Far from the cold wind off the North Sea in the North East where she was brought up.

The poet Jack Gilbert (1925-2012) wrote “ We must risk delight. We must have the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless furnace of this world”. There is a gritty toughness in his message and choice of words that speaks to the real, the down to earth, to the Geordie in me, and keeps me painting.

Val has a BA (Hons) Fine Art, An MA in Drawing and was awarded a scholarship for a PHD in Fine Art by Kingston University.