Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Quiet Time for Russell Stephenson

A Quiet Place
Russell Stephenson
Oil on panel
36” x 36”

The majestic skylines of Texas radiate an unexplainable beauty – the kind that harkens to the tributary songs of stars at night and the like in all its nostalgic inspirations.  Whether you’re experiencing the charming and subtle horizons of Corpus Christi, the flat plains of Lubbock and Plainview or the rugged mountains of Big Bend to the rolling Hill Country there is something unmistakable in its atmospheric awesomeness; with its sunrises and sunsets, its vast openness, or its terrifying and turbulent storms.

Russell Stephenson, a Texas painter, in an unrelenting approach has mastered the gorgeous godliness of our great state in his Panoramic Texas series paintings. Radiant browns and various tones of burnt sienna seem to meddle perfectly with contrasting cool slate grays, snowy silvers and wispy whites.

Atmospheric amalgamations of colors are ever approachable, digestible and delicate in their ephemeral and abstracted beauty.

In “A Quiet Place”, Stephenson delivers a mid-sized square painting, one that is anchored by an indistinguishable horizon that is concisely suppressed, mingled and engulfed by feathered heavens that glow with an inner radiance; something that can only achieved by some cosmic enlightenment.  The top half of the painting registers as an overcast nighttime sky; unique in its own right as each line, mark or controlled chaos of the artist’s hand touches the panel in a series of deliberate gestures through pressure, contemplation and automatic subconscious responses.

Thinking back to the cave paintings of Lascaux and man’s desire for expression, prayer, and guidance, I see a correlation to these organic canvases and Stephenson’s work.  “A Quiet Place” is in no regard a series of stories of hunting expeditions and vengeful deities, but further appreciation and understanding of the work looms closer to an epitaph of a long forgotten mountainside, etched with the timeless tale of the universe --Scars, stretch marks, wrinkles, and worry lines of an unprecedented worldliness; a story of life itself beyond the limits of Texas; and carefully calculated by the artist; and driven by divine-ness.

Call J.R. Mooney Gallery at 1-830-816-5106 to purchase

© Gabriel Diego Delgado

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