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Stephen Rea born Blackley, Manchester in 1962
1978- Attended Bolton Collage of A&D, studying, Fine art, Art history, Photography and Interior Design
My first works were exact reproductions, inspired by The Impessionists, Turner, Rembrant, Michelangelo,De Vinci and Tom Keating. I sold my first commissioned in 1980- 'Quiet Evening' by Spolaar, using the exact technique of the original.
In 1983 I moved to Angelsea, where I was invited to join the, D.A.I Studios, a working gallery in Caernarfon. The gallery owner, David Williams believed that I had the potential to become an accomplished watercolour Artist, and encouraged me to experiment within this field. The Gallery comprised of illustrators,artists,potters and sculptors.
In 1986 I returned to Manchester where I continued to sell commissioned work, mainly to overseas clients in Europe,Canada,Australia,Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E.
It was during this period that I began to develop new techniques, inspired by 'penumbra', the continuing battle between light and dark. These techniques include, a four colour technique using oil on canvas producing areas of darkness where the viewer can see hidden images within the main subject. A reverse painting technique using acrylic on gesso , bright vibrant colours with soft edges allowing the viewer to visually complete the piece. A tactile technique which breaks away from the normal confines of viewing art and allows pieces to be touched. This inique aspect allows the viewer to not only see form but to feel it.
From 6th June to 1st July 1998, I was invited to hold an exhibition at Manchesters Blyth Gallery. The tactile technique, which also involved light sculpture to emphasise the penumbra, was demonstrated when a representative from Henshaw's Society for the Blind felt the pieces ,and was moved to tears when she was able to describe the images on the paintings.
It was at this exhibition that I was approached by an Aide from the Oman Embassy in London, and was commissioned to undertake two watercolour portraits of His Majesty the Sultan of Oman.
In 2002 I moved to Spain with my children. I continued my private commissioned work, while producing paintings,interior designs and wall murals for local restaurants. I also travelled around the Costa Blanca painting seascapes and rural scenes.
I returned to Gosport in 2009 and continued with commissioned work, exhibiting in local galleries and art shops. In 2010 held the Licence to produce official prints of Art work of Man. Utd players for 18 months. I also undertook a commission to paint scenes on large wardrobe doors at a Georgian stately home in Kent, using the technique of Trompe l'oeil.
I continue to produce Gallery work and commissions.