Stephen MacFarlane


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Artist Statement: “My foundation is in painting and drawing. I have always especially loved the expressiveness of drawing whether realistically accurate or pushing toward abstraction. I strive to bring both accuracy and abstraction into my work as a way of expressing various feelings and emotions. Initially my work focused on the human figure, not only because of its complexity and beauty but also for what can be conveyed in attitude and context. As I continue to work, I find the same emotive qualities can be expressed with other subject matter, whether it is a landscape, caged birds in a cafe or cut sunflowers past their prime. Combining my love for the figure with a passion for drawing and color, I find printmaking to be a perfect form of expression. Making monotype prints provides the best combination of the gestural aspects of drawing and the emotional presence of color and pattern for me. Quality of line; how it can go from thick to thin and back again, how it can carry different weights, how edges can merge or push against each other are all excellently translated in this medium. Areas of color interacting with others convey different emotions and moods in this process in a rich and sensitive way. Monotype is particularly suited to me as it is essentially a painting done on a printing plate that is run through a press under pressure transferring the image to paper, each piece distinctive and unique. I find the immediacy of the process particularly satisfying. The pressure of the press changes the consistency of the ink as it is embedded in the fibers of the paper, the image not so much lying on top of the paper as essentially becoming a part of it. There is a surprise element that is also satisfying since I can never completely anticipate the result as the paper comes off the plate. It constantly amazes me how rich yet delicate monotypes can be. I strive to distill each piece down to its essential components in a direct yet spontaneous way. How much can I leave out of the piece and still register an emotional response? How much of that response is personal and how much is universal? How intense is that response? How intuitive is my response as I am working? By working directly and intuitively, I explore these questions, find others and ultimately open up more of my creative process."

Stephen MacFarlane is a professional Seattle artist with over 25 years of experience. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Grinnell College. His training in Fine Art and Printmaking comes from Pratt Fine Arts Center and the School of Visual Concepts in Seattle. His work on paper utilizes a printing press, ink and drawing to create one of a kind art pieces that link the delicate roles line and color play together in evoking emotion. He has shown extensively in the Puget Sound area as well as on the East Coast and is included in many collections both locally and internationally. He has also taught many drawing courses at the School of Visual Concepts in Seattle.