Stock leaves 2nd December 2015.
Steve Slimm has been producing and exhibiting paintings in Cornwall since 1979. Essentially self-taught, Steve has developed his art along very personal lines that both absorb and transcend tradition. He has become recognised as a noteworthy Cornish landscape painter, especially for his use of light. For this reason he was featured in the national UK art a-level syllabus for 2009-2010.
His main focus has always been the land, with its ever-shifting moods of light, and the deep sense of mystery surrounding those ancient timeless tracts of land and its coastal extremities. From his early training with John Miller during the late 70′s, through his almost obsessional explorations into the works of Turner, Monet, and finally Van Gogh, he has moved further and further away from the literal, toward the abstracted interpretation of the essence of what he sees. In more recent years he has also developed an increasing love of colour, and uses it with an ever intensifying passion! If you check out his name on the web you will be aware of the many recent or current exhibitions of his original paintings.
Q&A session with Steve
1. How old are you?
As with my paintings, in this regard I like to remain a man of mystery. Enough to say I have grand-offspring.
2. Where did you train?
I didn't. My reputation rests on a chosen repudiation of formal training - quitting grammar school at sixteen with eight O'levels, including art. Eventally my informal self-administered art education involved copious amounts of experimentation and recording of material reactions and colour exploration, aside from hours and hours of enraptured contemplation over art books - mainly Turner.
3. What inspired you to become an artist?
Art was always a favourite school subject. I continued drawing and painting into my early working life - white collar by default, (in contrast to subsequent no-collar-multi-coloured-everything by design(?)) At seventeen I had opportunity to further my education with any chosen subject (courtesy of the Civil Service), so took up landscape watercolour painting avidly. At twenty-six I met and befriended a working artist, which clinched my decision to become one - which I did that year, immediately beginning to exhibit and sell work in St. Ives, Cornwall.
4. What is Art?
If you don't know the answer to that, what are you doing running a gallery, I wonder? I expect you mean my take on it though - so here goes:
For me Art is anything humans do to allay the innate urge to be creative for its own sake. I don't say 'satisfy' - as artists are rarely that! My personal urge encompasses visual, auditory and literary.
5. If you weren't an artist what would you be?
If I'd not opted out of the system so early in life, I would probably have ended up a scientist. I was studying A-level chemistry books at fifteen, and got grade 1 maths at that age too. I still read a lot of scientific stuff, especially now it's become more integrated with spirituality and consciousness. I toyed with switching to a music career at one time, but liked home comfort too much. And in contrast, around 2004 I studied and took up life coaching and contemplated at some point moving across into that field. Those skills, however, I now find very useful in art mentoring.
6. If you could travel back in time, what advice would you give your younger self?
I'd probably say something like: Hey young Stevie-baby, you only got one pop at this, as far as anyone really knows, so decide what you're at, then give it a good one! Oh yes - and when you get chance early on to start investing some money - bloody well do it lad - or you'll live to regret it! (Well - something along those lines . . .)
7. Tell me three (add more if you want) things not many people know about you.
Three or more things not many know about me could be: 1) From the tender age of three to magical forty-three I was knocking on your door to enquire if you knew the answer to world problems, and if not, then I did - it's written here in this Book. (In case this should entirely go over your head - I was raised a Jehovah's Witness.)
2) I like skinny-dipping.
3) For a few years I had a foot-fetish. It used to embarass my wife in the pub.
4) It's been over for at least a decade. Ladies - you are safe!
8. If you had a superpower what would it be and why?
If I had a superpower it would be to shine a penetrating light into the deep and mysterious psyche of each suffering soul, to show them that, contrary to their darkest fears, the centre is made of nothing but pure light . . . but then I'd take away their excitement of finding that out for themselves!