Steve Shepard
Visionary art reflecting the natural beauty and people of the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico
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Steve Shepard
P.O. Box 1295
Gautier, Mississippi 39553 
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Artist's Statement - Steve Shepard

Born in Port Arthur, Texas, in 1955, I have spent most of my life on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. I began fishing, beachcombing, sailing and operating a small motorboat when I was eight. And I have been exploring and studying the coast ever since.

I speak a visionary language of deep ecology inspired by the natural history of the northern Gulf of Mexico and its disintegration at the hands of developers (Republicans) investing in sprawling overpopulation.

In pursuit of complexity, I favor busy frenetic compositions with an attention to spontaneous absurdity. Dynamic shifts in perspective and horizon and the abandonment of linear perspective all are driven by my need for impressions of dizzy flight over inner vistas. I harmonize the surface with bright rich pure colors. My influences include the work of self-taught artists (I was first taught to paint by my fourth grade teacher in Gautier, MS, Ms. Francis Smith, originally of Hattiesburg, who enthralled me with her memory and historic canvases as well as her handling of local landscape), outsiders (Wolflii and Ramirez), Chicago Imagists, and ethnic sources from pre-Columbian to African and Far Eastern. My style reflects an appreciation for naive and narrative art expressed outside the restraints of Western perspective.

My work is all made on cotton or rag paper, darkened with watercolor. I draw the image with black ink, sometimes graphite and prismacolor; and fill in the image completely with prismacolor. The paper is sometimes mounted to board before the drawing is made, and, upon completion, sprayed with a UV resistant fixative and framed without glass. Unmounted drawings are framed under glass.

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