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Stephen Roberts

Stephen Roberts

'Towards Withington'

At the end of 2020, I began to focus on painting the landscape and going back to painting after an eight-year hiatus. I had specialised in oil painting as a student at the Cardiff School of Art, graduating from there in 2012. In these years, I tried to gain momentum working as a freelance illustrator with limited success.

After years of balancing a day job with illustration work, I found that I was struggling to make any real ground in this discipline. I enrolled onto the MA Illustration course at the University of Gloucestershire to make greater progress with my illustrative practice. This turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made and allowed me two years of intensive reflection on the direction I was taking in life. Though I had only ever wanted to draw for a living, I concluded that my heart was no longer in pursuing freelance illustration with the intensity and drive which was needed to succeed. I required a new challenge, something which would ensure I was focused on building a body of work and challenging myself every day. I decided that the natural beauty of the landscape was to be the subject I would focus upon. The subject matter appealed to me due to the incredible power of landscape to evoke atmosphere and feeling. Though I began by painting with acrylics, I have slowly moved to using oil paint as my preferred medium.

My current practice has become more abstracted, focusing on capturing the sensation of light rather than rendering form. I am now focusing on exploring this quality within the landscape in a way that connects with myself and others.

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