By Paul Steer
I am a slow burner when it come to making my frescoes.
A lot of my time (when not working as a nurse) is spent connecting with the natural world, the world outside our boxes – both physical and mental.
I am making a garden which I believe is as much an artwork as my paintings. It also is a slow process and one which is in a constant state of flux. You see I believe we have a spiritual side to our lives – and we need to be able to stop and hear what that ‘spirit’ is saying. Perhaps I am too deep !?
There is a lot of looking and listening as preparation for a piece of work. Sometimes I go into my small studio and pour plaster on to glass sheets in a random way. The plaster dries and I lift it and allow it to sit on the table or against the window sill until an image forms in my mind – a response to a place, a walk, a journey, a conversation. I use photography, sketches and my journal as a resource.
When I make a painting I like to listen to music – usually choral or piano – sometimes orchestral or world or jazz.
I want to say that I am a working class man who’s eyes have been opened to another world beyond the ordinary.
Sometimes I complete a painting in a day – but more often it takes weeks or even longer. I have just re-worked a fresco painted 2 years ago. I like to have them in my studio for a while because that way I can see it in different light and often see its faults.
Writing has always been a part of my ‘Fine Art’ journey. I have begun to write poetry again – and some of these appear on the paintings.
So a day in the studio would consist of listening to music – casting plaster randomly and sometimes into frames. Drawing into drying plaster pieces. Lots of coffee. A break working in the garden and taking dog for walk. Reading my journal relating to the paintings I am making and rfering to sketches and photographs. Leaving a piece and coming back at a later date – perhaps scraping back the pigment and re- working, building layers.
I suppose I see life as a story – an unfolding journey – that is how I approach my painting.