Wherever he ventured Stephen was always accompanied by a sketchbook. These thoughts originate from these books, incapsulating his observations about the why we make and what can be revealed to us through making. The writings here are arranged into themes.  A more complete compilation of these writings can be found in the book LINES THROUGH LIGHT.



Sketch book page.  Photo, Rob Little
Text from the above page " The back drop clouds which seem to float against the skyline and in the air above are the free floaters, full of form gathering light on their passage through the sky, constantly changing. The free floaters have a dancing quality."


 Where the Sky meets the Sea

We are all intersections with life, representing a point where life happens, where there is change there is interest. An intersection represents a potential, a change of direction and choice. Intersections are essential to the vitality of Life. There we can make choices, decisions to practice and nurture your work. Mentally we must practice every day.  Sitting here with the warm sun on my back looking out into a blue sea, and listening to the waves is bliss.  As the sun gets higher the colours intensify.  The tide is coming in and we can almost imagine the excitement the small fish must feel, as there comes again an intersection of the waters, filling the pool with new energy and spirit.  Sure it may not be a good day but it opens up the possibility for change, for moving on, for renewed understanding, the possibility to move out into the world.


The way that we use colours in our lives makes everything an expression of our qualities. That is what we bring to this life. To add the real spirit of what there is, not a matter of observation, more a matter of experience, so that the painting becomes a poem rather than a description.

Colours, no matter what their tones, can sing together to the tune of ever changing light. There are no fixed points.  They are elemental, substantial in their temperament and qualities expressed. Working with colours, there are certain balances, harmonies, and complements to help them all to sizzle and sing.  You can't just put colours down, you have to get inside them, find them, and embrace them as in a love affair, so that there is great joy in this finding. It is as if you meet your own lost soul and with this ring complete, an eternity of life is possible.


SProcter162.jpg Sketch book page.  Photo, Rob Little


If you want to paint an idea or express a feeling then paint it with all your might, all your focus so that this idea fills the paper, taking over and really giving presence to that idea. Let that idea be truly a focus of energy and thought so that this presence is radiating from the paper like a jubilant tuneful song that lifts your spirits. There is no recipe for painting; some days it goes well but there is no way that we can take the same magic and use it again in another painting, for each painting must live its own living moment .

It really doesn't matter about the place or the object, it’s the PAINTING itself that matters: the colour, form, light and composition. Let the colours sing in a celebration! We need that incredibly powerful presence of vibrating colour. I am looking for the essence of the landscape, the experience of the landscape we are left with afterwards ....what you know.
Discovery, becoming aware

Some years ago I had the good fortune to spend time with a group of poets and I began to understand the importance of words. The challenge of how to say much with few words! Honing away to get rid of the superfluous, and reveal the truth.  I saw this film on Eskimo stone carving, and was fascinated by the notion of REVEALING THE SPIRIT of the stone that is already there rather than imposing ideas onto it.  The form was already there in consciousness, their job was to reveal it to find the core.