SoWa Spotlight: Stephen Silver

Stephen Silver is a lifelong artist and beloved member of the SoWa community. After just a year of painting in his SoWa studio, Steve founded the SoWa Artists Guild in 2005. An association of studio artists, the Guild fosters community around art through SoWa First Fridays and other events. Since its inception, the Guild has nearly quadrupled in size.

Steve now devotes all of his time to painting and to supporting other artists. He has studied at the Museum of Fine Arts School in Boston and has been a student of master artist Tom Ouellette. We asked him about his creative process, and here's what he shared.

“I love to paint. Almost ten years ago, after years of painting representational landscapes, I felt a push to experiment. I picked up my palette knife and started spreading paint on the canvas. I had no plan, however my love of nature and landscape subconsciously impacted my direction.  

“My process usually begins at the top of the canvas, where I apply paint as areas of color. As I work my way down the canvas, I get a feel from the developing composition. The direction is not always obvious, so I’ll continue to layer paint, using color and shape to resolve the composition. Abstract or somewhat realistic, the ultimate interpretation is up the viewer.
“Through my continued experimentation, two alternative styles have evolved. They find their roots from my years of doodling through boring meetings in my corporate life.  I’ve expanded those doodles, drawing upon color and line to create an exciting organic flow. Each of these paintings represents a season, expressed through the color palette I choose. 
“The second of these experimentations are composed of geometric shapes that appear to expand the dimensions of the canvas and fool the eye. Elements jump off the canvas, while others settle into the background. I play with shapes and shadow as well as focus to give the illusion of movement and depth.”

You can view Steve’s striking work in his studio, Studio 211, 450 Harrison Ave.