Thomas Stevens attended his first life drawing class while a student at UNC-Chapel Hill, and has continued to explore figurative art throughout his life, including drawing, painting, and sculpture. A decade ago he branched into landscape painting, and In 2015 he opened the Thomas Stevens Gallery in Hillsborough, NC.
My work is representational. I seek to portray the individual character of the subject, be it person or place, while still creating a work that has universal interest and appeal. Anchored in realism, I incorporate symbolic, abstract, impressionistic, and allegorical qualities into my work.
I like to think of myself as a bricoleur - that is, one who tinkers or puts odds and ends together to make something work. I tinker with vivacity and whimsey, light and shadow, interiors and exteriors, eros and humor, reality and fantasy, seriousness and play.
My landscape body of work of the last decade are predominantly of specific Hillsborough locations, observing ‘interiors’ of ‘exterior’ places, e.g. a sidewalk tunneling through a tree canopy, reflections of shadows on water, paths enclosed by woodland. The best compliment I ever received on my figure work was a young woman pointing to one of my large nudes and saying, “I want to be like her. She’s comfortable in her skin.”
I believe art is about making each work come alive and contribute to a larger story. If the art feels alive, we feel alive. I have the privilege of making art about people and places I love.