Describing Architecture

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Paintings / Stephen Nolan


Blue Painting of Church Street
12″ x 10″, Oil on Canvas

Stepping Stones with Swimming Pool
26″ x 9″, Oil on Canvas

I believe that the nature of a society is best expressed in the built environment and in my practice I have always been concerned with recurring themes of architecture and how the built environment relates to our culture. In my painting I try to fix for posterity the inner animation of the buildings that I see around me every day. I try to depict on my canvas that moment in time and space where the reflection of light bouncing off the world captures my thoughts and transports me into “the joyous realm of things and their god the Sun”.

When making my paintings I like to build them up in multiple layers of new paintings over old, in this way I can build my landscapes up over time in much the same way as a town or city evolves over many years. I like to allow the inherent characteristics of the individual canvas panels to come through, as the original image becomes less important as the painting progresses. By doing this I hope to render visible the vital details of the world as they pierce the worked surface of the canvas. New and old images merge on the surface to create a textured piece as much about the continual destruction of old images and ideas as the creation of the new.