Jan Stevens

Elected member of NAPA (National Acrylics Painters Association)
Contemporary Abstract Artist

How can anyone enjoy abstract art? My advice, choose one you love and share what you see with others.
I love movement, fun, super surprises and spontaneity. With my abstract art, I aim to embrace the current trend towards play and being in the moment. I especially like the phrase ‘we are at our most human when we play’ used by Ralph Rugoff, the curator for La Biennale de Venezia 2019 in a recent article.
My early life experiences are incorporated in my art inspired by a love of river and costal water landscapes, a quality-loving creative mother and a mathematical fun father. Cornish raised, state-degree-educated, global business wise and South West London living celebrate my creativity through fusion. Combined with a sense of curiosity, wonder, community spirit and justice brings wisdom, balance, compassion, heart and fun to my art.
Inspiration comes from green and blue spaces, golf courses, costal landscapes and everyday life. I enjoy painting mixing greens and using a variety of blues. Each painting creates movement through speedily applied shapes which when combined with solid shapes represents moments of stillness and clarity in the ever changing unpredictable world we live in.

Working in the Studio

Currently my art reflects water movement both in painting technique and abstract representation. The movement of waves, net and ribbon shapes connect the solid circles, which provide a resting place to contemplate the next step. I want to create engaging conversation and connections to inspire confident fun ideas and new perspectives sharing views together. Uncertainty and certainty in the same painting. Creative organic thinking and focused sharp linear thinking giving balance in the finished art.

I enjoy making art with water based paints, preferably acrylic paint for its range of consistency. I love the challenge of wet-on-wet pouring technique creating the unpredictable. lt finds its own way to settle where it wants. The next layers are built with washes and deliberate brushing in solid shapes to give depth and can create a floating sensation.

I studied City in Guilds photography and then gained a Garden Design and Horiculture Diploma. This has influenced my ability to see simplicity, perspective, space, tone and the main point of interest in a scene or object.

With experimentation I discovered a method to pour acrylic, the wet-on-wet technique. I brush on clear water shapes then move swiftly to pour on diluted acrylic paints into the shape. For me, using the right pot and paint consistency for steady fast pouring has been an acquired knowledge and confidence. Like a good chef, I carefully prepare all my ingredients in advance, each colour in a separate pot. I choose colours straight from the tube or blend two or more together, so the colours may stay separate or combine as they dry on the canvas. Colours and shapes are inspired by nature’s beauty in our world and everyday objects like tree bark, raspberries or matches.

Making my Mark

My paintings are on paper or canvas with acrylic or watercolour paints. I can make my marks on several paintings at the same time, once I discover a style that fascinates me. With playfulness in mind, I allow the paintings to take on a life of its own. Applying paint with brushes, rollers or pouring. The first application is often applied in a wide sweeping easy movement. Once dry, the finer focused details are added with a variety of different brushes. Tape and credit cards are used to get a sharp edge if required.

Supporting the Arts

I aim to give and support the art world including other artists, charities, galleries and museums. For more information see Giving to the Arts.


Selected for Exhibitions from 2014 to 2019 at Orleans Gallery, Bowmans Gallery Richmond, Mariners Gallery St Ives, John Rank Gallery Chichester and Water Street Gallery, Todmorden

My paintings are in UK private collections

Selected Group Exhibitions

2019/2020  Smaller and Smaller WATERSTREET GALLERY Todmorden

December 2019   Truro Art Show, Cornwall

June 2019 and online June 2020 Bedford Park Festive, London

March 2019  Royal Watercolour Society Contemporary at Bankside Gallery, London SE1 9JH

2016 to 2019 NAPA Summer Show held in The Crypt Gallery St Ives and John Rank Gallery, Chichester

2018/2019 Amazing Rare Things WATERSTREETGALLEY, Todmorden
2017,2018 BIENNIEL 2018, Affordable Art Tent 2017 with ARTS Richmond
February to May 2017 The Watering Hole and Natures Space Debraggio Dining Gallery Richmond
September 2015 Battersea Arts Centre, London SW11 5TN
January to April 2014 Drawn to Abstraction at Orleans House Gallery TW1 3DJ
November 2013 i love Richmond SOLO Exhibition at The Bowman Gallery, Richmond and their Group Exhibitions in 2012 and 2014

Other Exhibitions

June 2013 and 2015 ART House Open Studios in Richmond

June 2014 Mid Summer Fair at Landmark Art Centre, Teddington

Final Curiosity - Things You may want to Know

Jan appeared in BBC1 Going Back Giving Back episode 5, last shown in 2019

WHO’s WHO in ART    37th edition, shows Jan on p687. Published by Morden Press