Statement - Steve Shepard
Born in Port Arthur, Texas,
in 1955, I have spent most of my life on the Mississippi Gulf
Coast. I began fishing, beachcombing, sailing and operating
a small motorboat when I was eight. And I have been exploring
and studying the coast ever since.
I speak a visionary language
of deep ecology inspired by the natural history of the northern
Gulf of Mexico and its disintegration at the hands of developers
(Republicans) investing in sprawling overpopulation.
of complexity, I favor busy frenetic compositions with an
attention to spontaneous absurdity. Dynamic shifts in perspective
and horizon and the abandonment of linear perspective all are
driven by my need for impressions of dizzy flight over inner
vistas. I harmonize the surface with bright rich pure colors.
My influences include the work of self-taught artists (I was
first taught to paint by my fourth grade teacher in Gautier,
MS, Ms. Francis Smith, originally of Hattiesburg, who enthralled
me with her memory and historic canvases as well as her handling
of local landscape), outsiders (Wolflii and Ramirez), Chicago
Imagists, and ethnic sources from pre-Columbian to African
and Far Eastern. My style reflects an appreciation for naive
and narrative art expressed outside the restraints of Western
My work is all made on cotton or rag paper, darkened
with watercolor. I draw the image with black ink, sometimes
graphite and prismacolor; and fill in the image completely
with prismacolor. The paper is sometimes mounted to board before
the drawing is made, and, upon completion, sprayed with a UV
resistant fixative and framed without glass. Unmounted drawings
are framed under glass.