Stephens paintings are an evolving dialogue with the elements that celebrate the experience of being part of the landscape, often at the edge of daylight.
He combines a loose and spontaneous painting technique with a deep understanding of the landscape from a lifetime of close observation. For more than 30 years he has studied landscapes and skies all over the world as a landscape architect, then as a pilot and painter. He is inspired by the solitude of the sky and the desert, of an empty beach or stretch of moorland.
Most of his work is a response driven by memory and the emotional experience of the landscape, charged by his connection to the ever changing light and weather of the Northern British landscape. It lies somewhere between figuration and abstraction, and is largely concerned with the visual pleasure provided by the interplay of marks, colours, textures and forms.
He works instinctively and directly onto the canvas without preparatory studies or much conscious thought, using brush, knife and hands.