Stephen Collins

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You can find more of my paintings and thoughts on my website

My next solo show is in the Malt House and runs from the 20th. November to the 2nd of December 2015.  Hope to see you there.

An Unruly Brush With Life.

While the mind ponders what the eye perceives, the heart runs away with the hand to dance a merry jig across the canvas. This is not to say the mind has no say in my painting, rather its role is specific.
It is the heart that first exclaims with joy “Yes, that’s the one” when the eye is caught by a scene. The analytical mind then decides the composition and first cut colours.
The initial coat of paint goes on with a rush. Hand and heart going for it full bore with no quarter given. Mistakes and misrepresentations abound. This is important as they are to play a crucial role in the painting later.
In the second stage of a painting the mind catches up a little and the debate between the head and the heart begins. The hand interrupts with sudden impulsive gestural flicks. This dialogue slowly works towards harmony or erupts into a destructive frenzy when parts and occasionally all of the painting are obliterated.
Whether heart or head, whichever has the stronger case is allowed to lead. What works for the painting comes first.

Is this a sensible way of painting? Probably not, but its origins go back some thirty years.
I was a precision engineer by trade and painting offered me an escape from the exacting demands of that occupation. In painting I found two things. A way of expressing my love of nature and a freedom I found nowhere else.
Ideas or projects hold no charms for me. I paint from life, or the imagination, only that which takes my fancy.
This may sound arrogant, but as a self taught painter I have only my inner voice to guide me.
This may be good or it may be bad, it is for you the viewer to decide.
Stephen Collins. 2015.

I wrote the text below for my show last year. As I still believe it to be true it seemed a shame to delete it so I’ll leave it as a postscript.

“Spontaneity and impulse is our first response to life. It is then tempered by reflection and thought. Somewhere between control and anarchy lies the creative state. Too much thought and the work becomes stiff and cerebral, too much abandonment and the work lacks clarity and form. Finding the sweet spot of harmony between the two is the work of a life time”.



paintings 26-3-14 002