Steve Bowden’s distinctive and vibrant coastal scenes have a whimsical charm which encourages the viewer to step into each engaging scene and create their own narrative. The romance of the sea, the safety of the harbours and the long reflections produce a wonderful feeling of calm which has enchanted art lovers across the UK. His images are naïve, loose and painterly in execution, and he constantly utilises new media, styles and techniques to keep his work fresh. A self taught artist, he has a background in graphic design which has given him a unique understanding of the relationship between colour and emotion.
Although the harbours in the paintings are created entirely from Steve’s imagination, he does have some favourite locations in Northern France, Cornwall and Northumberland which he uses for reference. He has always lived by the coast and his father worked at sea; furthermore, he is a keen sailor and rower – he has sailed across the Channel to Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney and along the Brittany coast and has taken part in the Great River Race, rowing 22 miles down the Thames from Richmond to Greenwich - and has also enjoyed rowing and kayaking for many years.
He attributes his characteristic ‘high horizons’ to the viewpoint he has of the land from the water, particularly when kayaking.
Cornwall holds a particularly special place in Steve’s heart. He says: “I know may sound like a cliché but the light really is something else. It isn't a coincidence that so many artists are crammed into that small corner of England.” It was during a visit to Mousehole in 2012 that Steve was delighted to be invited to join ABNA, the Association of British Naive Artists, and to exhibit through them in the nation’s galleries.
This led to his work becoming widely known and admired, and he is swiftly gaining a reputation as a rising star in the world of naïve art.
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