Stephen Foster


Stephen J Foster's aims are simple: realism is not enough. "I want to paint as intensely and expressively as possible".

His approach when painting is to look for accidents and random events which can make the painted surface more evocative and exciting. It is through these chance events that deeper meanings can reveal themselves and a painting can come to mean more than expected. For Stephen, a painting cannot really come to life without these chance events.

"For me painting is an intuitive thing.  Conscious thought is useful up to a point, but there comes a time when the unconscious takes over and the painting starts to become something in and of itself, let that go; only then does a painting have a chance to become complete.  I use a palette knife much of the time as it can give an expressive random mark making quality to the paintings.  The chalk coast and ancient downland of Dorset and the coast and landscape of Norfolk are major inspirations for me."

"Above all, the painting must be alive"

The 'Field Mark Series' of Abstract Paintings

"The Field Marks Series has evolved from drawings of fields and hillsides made around Corfe and Swanage in the Purbecks, Dorset and the North Norfolk coast around Blakeney and Holkham.  I am particulrly looking for abstract patterns in the lie of the land but somehow the weather, the atmosphere and my emotional attachment to those places seem to get tied in too.  The interaction between sea and land is often important."

"Although they are clearly a series of paintings and have similar roots, it is very important to me that each painting goes in its own direction and achieves a balance and harmony of its own, independently of the rest."