The Suffolk Group

Jack  Stephenson 

I was trained in the early 1960s when it was still possible to learn the crafts of painting and drawing from practicing artists who themselves had been taught the secrets of the studio by an earlier generation of fine painters. The teachers who most influenced me were Ken Howard, Olwyn Bowey and David Tindle, all now RAs., and all painters in the British figurative tradition that has come down to us from Sickert, and his followers.

I feel strongly that it is still possible for a figurative artist to produce work that is, in its own way, lively, contemporary and relevant.
It has been with these thoughts in mind that I have developed an interest in the Conversation Piece with a view to bring it up to date and turn, what is essentially an 18/19 Century form, into a mirror on the way we live now.

I am particularly fascinated by the potential of these group paintings to depict more than outward appearance; with effort and sensitivity it is possible to convey much more than that.

In recent years the majority of my work has been to commission and this seems likely to continue. However, time allowing, I have it in mind to develop some ideas for more personally motivated painting loosely based on the theme of the artist and his model.

I still enjoy teaching and have a number of students who come to my studio for courses and private tuition. This aspect of my work seems likely to expand when I move into a larger studio during the coming summer.