Watercolor workshop with renowned artist planned at the SAAC

Hot Springs artist Richard Stephens will return to the South Arkansas Arts Center next year for a three-day painting workshop titled “Watercolor Painting and Design”.

A Richard Stephens Workshop offers artists three main amenities: informative technical information sprinkled with humor and antidotes; entertaining and educational painting demonstrations; and plenty of one-on-one time with Stephens as he helps the artist through their individual painting processes. Stephens has a genuine passion for watercolor and says he appreciates the opportunity to share his knowledge and experience with students of all skill levels.

Stephens watercolor workshops are informative, stimulating and fun. It is not about competition or making a big picture. Rather, his workshops consist of being exposed to a watercolor painting process that has been successful for him. Perhaps part of this process is finding a voice with his students and their work.

A native of Hot Springs, Stephens received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Central Arkansas in 1969. After serving in the military as an illustrator, Stephens began his professional career in 1971 at a design firm in Little Rock. Three years later, he opened his own graphic design studio in his hometown, providing design and production services for a wide range of business accounts.

Having been introduced to the medium in college, Stephens rediscovered transparent watercolor in the early 1990s. He quickly gained a nationwide reputation for his confident, loose Impressionist paintings. His works have won awards in numerous national competitions and he has achieved the status of iconic member of several major watercolor societies.

For the past 22 years, Stephens has shared his passion for the medium by organizing painting workshops across the country. The son of a schoolteacher, Stephens’ comfortable personality and straightforward style are well suited to the classroom.

“It is the quest for excitement, this rush, understood only by other artists who have been blessed (or cursed) with the experience, that gives me a reason to continue in the elusive process of artistic creation.” , Stephens said. “‘Making art’ certainly means producing my own work. But it also means sharing with my students my knowledge, my experience and my passion for watercolor. I love to teach. I have discovered that by teaching, more than any other activity, I continue to learn. “

Although recognized for his landscaping, architectural and figurative work, Stephens said he felt the real subjects of most of his paintings are his brush and the light he tries to capture and amplify through a contrast of value and an unexpected color scheme. Convinced that drawing is the foundation of all good art and design, Stephens often lets his pencil work shine through and become an engaging element in his watercolors.

“My goal is to perform, not to render. I want to engage the viewer, entertain them and share my vision,” Stephens said. “When people see my work, it’s the last step in the painting process. Of course, I want people to like my job, but whether they like it or hate it, I don’t want them to be indifferent. “

Stephens has received numerous honors throughout his career, one of which was named “Arkansas Individual Artist of the Year” in 2018 by the Arkansas Arts Council. He is a member of the Arkansas League of Artists, the Mississippi Art Colony, and an iconic member of the Mid-South Watercolors, the Southern Watercolor Society, and the Missouri Watercolour Society.

Stephens asks participants to bring photographs with them for inspiration.

“I will bring lots and lots of photos that the students are welcome to use for their painting subject if they don’t have something of their own. I will also have several original paintings in plastic sleeves for the students to use. “, did he declare. “I have no problem with students copying another board for educational purposes. Obviously, we would not claim them for themselves or present them in exhibitions. “

Stephens will also be showing some of his work at the Merkle Gallery from January 7 to February 2, 2022 with an opening reception on Thursday February 6, 2022 at 5:30 p.m. His exhibition is called “Richard Stephens Watercolors”.

The workshop is scheduled for February 1-3, 2022. The workshop will be held from 9 am to 4 pm on the first two days and from 9 am to noon on the third day. Registration for the workshop is currently open on saac-arts.com and the cost is $ 175.

To register for the three-day workshop, contact the SAAC office at 862-5474. For more information on the workshop, including a list of supplies, visit saac-arts.com. SAAC is located at 110 E. 5th St. in El Dorado.

Watercolourist Richard Stephens. (Contributed)

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