Stephen Mason

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I am a contemporary artist working mainly in oils and acrylic paint and, more recently, charcoal on paper. I am currently studying for a BA in Fine Art at the Greater Brighton Metropolitan College in Durrington.

My current work is becoming more figurative. Up until a couple of years ago figures would be absent from my practice. As my work has developed, I have started to incorporate figures although they are faceless. I have difficulty in recognising people, and I try to identify them by situations and location. Some of my works have also been built around the use of colour combinations to identify certain characteristics, or moods, of different people that I have had contact with. Ideas around identity, or lack of, have also started to influence my work.

During my course I have experimented with different styles, methods and materials and found my most satisfactory medium for the work I am now producing is charcoal on paper. I have grown to love charcoal, maybe too much. When drawing I inevitably end up as covered in charcoal as the paper. I love the way I can draw and erase, smudging with my fingers or the back of my hand, and wiping with a piece of cloth or a piece of paper. This gives me a feeling of being in close contact with the subject made even more so by drawing life size. To start I often reference a classical piece or something I have seen that would relate. I then decide on a possible composition and then take photographs of the model in various poses. In Photoshop I can manipulate the poses then create the final composition which is then drawn on to the paper.

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