What form of art or media do you work with?
I work in a variety of media but I’m primarily interested in drawing. I guess that sometimes I use photography, sometimes print, pencil, paint, things, however ultimately I use whatever allows me to convey an idea.
Can you describe your studio/work space.
I work from home mainly. I do not have a traditional studio space. I live with Jeanette Orrell who is also an artist. We share a loft space where we both have separate sides to make work. Her’s is really productive. Mine is currently less so, having become a storage space for work from the past 25 years. I’ve made a conscious decision to try to make work that allows me to express ideas and concerns while at the same time becoming portable or easy to store.
Please give a brief description of your creation process and technique.
I like work to be fairly immediate in it’s realisation. However I also have many technical skills which allow me to make work. Drawing can take place anywhere, but I like to sit down and work on either a series of bits of paper or in a book. I did my MA in fine art fine printmaking so over the years those skills have developed. I like etching, linocut, and screenprint. I have always enjoyed the idea of multiples and I like the social and democratic aspects of printmaking as an artform.
What are you working on at the moment?
Jeanette and I recently completed a commission for Oriel Myrddin in Carmarthen. I’m currently doing a lot of drawings in little books.
How do you know when a work is complete?
It knows! The next drawing will always be better which is what drives me to keep going.
Do you listen to music when you are working, or the radio, or work in silence?
I like the house when it’s all quiet, early mornings, late at night. But I can work pretty much anywhere. Thinking time is really important. I used to run cross country every day, but I haven’t for a while, or we’d go for a walk. I find the world around me fascinates me. I can work with the telly on, or music ( I love my iPod) or Radio 4 ( I particularly like radio plays)
What are you reading at the moment?
The Guardian, sauce bottles, emails, and the art of travel by Alain de Botton
What is your favourite artwork by another artist?
I love Giotto and Duccio, Jeanette’s work, anything that my daughters do,
Please complete the following sentences in whatever way is meaningful to you:
a) Artists should……speak up. Sometimes their ideas are really important and deserve to be shared and not just with other artists either
b) Art is……..really really valuable. It has a role to play in society. Helping people to see things in a different way. Encouraging reflection and contemplation and sometimes making you laugh or cry
c) The World is …….hard sometimes
What is the worst thing someone has said about your work?
Someone once stood in front of me looking at an exhibition I had put two years of my life into and turned to their friend and said “god, this is crap”. I was gutted.
Who is your favourite German Expressionist painter?
I love the German Expressionists. I particularly like Ernst Ludwig kirchner, Paula Modersohn-Becker, and I have a soft spot for August Macke. Any of the woodcuts. I’m also very partial to Edvard Munch but he’s Norwegian.
Thank you Steffan