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Stephen May

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Biography

Before coming to New Brunswick in 1979 to study fine arts at Mount Allison University, Stephen May imagined himself as a modern-day Tom Thomson, sketching in remote places, except instead of traveling around by canoe, he would pilot himself around in a float plane. (He actually went to the trouble of earning a pilot's license.)
This romantic inclination set his own directions as a painter.
Unfazed by the latest trends and -isms that surrounded him in art school, Stephen May found his painterly interests in solitude and isolation, more specifically from observation of and working directly from nature. His fascination was with the transient effect of light on color and form. Like Monet, he discovered the phenomenon in outdoor subjects in his own garden and backyard. And like Manet, another much admired artist by May, he also gleaned inspiration from arrangement of simple objects within the studio setting. Still life and portraiture, he found, could enliven space with an inner glow if the ingredients of light and color were balanced just right. In his paintings and color-brushed drawings, he most often simplifies such impressions into a tableau where a singular object, painted larger than life, becomes the focus of attention. It could be a child's toy, lemons on a platter, a gutted fish, a dead bird, flowers in the garden, or a self-portrait - the sensuality of brushstrokes and colors shifting moods and impressions in casts of light and shadows.
Stephen May has been living in Fredericton since 1984. In 1992 he built a studio in his backyard with strategically positioned windows to provide maximum filter of natural light. It serves as a lookout to scenery outside, while providing an insular creative haven on the inside.

Other Information

Category: Paintings

Media:Oil on Canvas

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