Steve Caldwell

Steve Caldwell, portrait paintings
Steve Caldwell, portrait paintings
Steve Caldwell is a UK painter whose focus is portraits, and by focus I mean rather intense focus. Caldwell’s faces are intensely observed, and rendered with a finessed attention to tone and texture. Many have a feeling of immediacy that at times can even feel a bit confrontational, a sense of “here I am, this is me, like it or not”.

Most interesting to me is that a large percentage of Caldwell’s paintings are monochrome, painted in acrylic in a full range of grays. A number of them are left in an apparently unfinished state with some areas brought to a finish and others little more than a sketched outline against a textured ground.

His work in color is no less intensely observed, with an equal degree of attention to nuanced value relationships.


4 Replies to “Steve Caldwell”

  1. I usually don’t care for the photo-realist style of work, but the unfinished aspect of these makes them much more interesting. The ability to render a subject to perfection can impress you with technique, but couple the technique with composition/design/Idea, and then you have something.
    I especially like the partially finished one of the girls face. To me it says; ” I”ve been trying to find myself, and I’m finally breaking through.” It would be a hard concept to illustrate if it were given as an assignment, but this one nails it. She doesn’t look to be coming out of a fog, or water, just coming together as a finished person.
    Great post! Thanks for the chance to see it.

  2. Thanks, Sheridan.

    I agree that I don’t often respond to work that I would consider “photo-realist”, but I think there are many elements in Caldwell’s work that are not characteristic of photography.

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