Eric Stevens spent his formative years in Hawaii, where the natural beauty of the islands had a sublime and profound influence that he still feels today. After a career in graphic design and illustration, he turned his attention entirely to painting while living in Prague from 2002 to 2005. This time allowed him to pursue his passion completely and gain invaluable exposure to the arts landscape of many different cultures while traveling throughout Europe. Stevens has created multiple series of paintings, including VIRTUE: Chivalry as a Memory Tradition, The Golden Age of Man: Practical Tools, as well as a landscape series and floral series. Stevens’s works can be found in private and corporate collections across the country and internationally. Most recently, twenty-two of Stevens’s works were shown at the Midtown Atlanta office of Culture Agency.
“I am interested in the relationships between complex detail and simple composition, classical rendering of form and modern reduction. I think there is an interesting tension there. A lot of my work describes simple organic forms, like flowers. These paintings often use vibrant true-to-life color to depict the subjects, while their settings take the subjects out of their expected contexts. The perspective and scale furthers this, isolating the subject, and bringing the viewer closer. Each painting, or series of paintings, has to obey a set of rules, like a formula. I will come up with a subject, and also determine the best formula for executing the piece. Things like palette, the use of reference images, forming a composition, visual factors, canvas size and shape, length of time used for completion; all these things can be affected. For me it's part of the creative process. How I paint is just as important to me as what I paint. A formula must be decided upon for the subject at hand. You can see the shifting of formulae between the different subjects I paint: I paint landscapes very differently than florals, for example. Sometimes inspiration for the formula I will use comes from a piece of artwork, something that has nothing to do with what I intend to do, and usually it's not a painting. Other times it is more conceptual, a feeling, or an atmospheric thing like the air and the lighting. All these things help set up the rules that control the process.
“Eric Stevens’s land and seascapes seem to trail grace, mirroring inner states of quietude and revelation. His White Gladiolas are so very finely observed and rendered. To paraphrase Banville, they blush beneath the intensity of your gaze and give up their secrets. I'm happy to return again to his work and admire the sanctity of the natural world suffusing everything truly seen.” - Yahia Lababidi, Poet
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