Originally from the UK Lynda Stevens has been living and working on a freelance basis in Budapest Hungary since 2000. She first worked here as a TESOL teacher in 1996, whilst never giving up devoting her inner life to her unique artistic path.
She originally graduated with a degree in English/Italian literature from the University of Warwick in 1981 – at a time where there were 500 graduates to 1 job. As a result her career took a rather more circuitous route than otherwise – this did include devoting a lot more time to the creative path. Stevens had developed a passion for drawing intensely patternistic colour drawings from the age of 19, on a purely self-taught basis, in a style that had been likened to ‘outsider art.’ However, soon it became impossible for this artist to be linked to any kind of naive label in art.
In the mid 1980’s, in order to have a purpose to life whilst looking for paid work she did also attend two two-year, part-time courses. The first involved a diploma in drawing and painting at the Leamington College of FE Leamington Spa, where she was introduced to the rigours of life drawing, still-life drawing and painting, alongside having the opportunity to experiment with a much wider range of media including etching, airbrush painting, charcoal and acrylics. There were also lectures introducing its attendants to the theory and the history of art. The second course undertaken at the end of the 80’s led to a certificate in Craft Materials from Coventry University, where media ranging from metal to ceramics and textiles were explored. Life in Coventry was rewarding from the point of view of finding an artistic community: there were regular exhibitions with the self-named Dream Illustrators and the Hillfields Artist’s group. After finishing this course, Stevens started working increasingly with found objects, ranging from broken glass to polystyrene. There were also two solo exhibitions in a small gallery above an art shop in Spon Street, Coventry, which charted Stevens’s maturing artistic expression – in using broken glass in many of her works for example, her style literally crystallised.
There was a short interlude where Lynda Stevens lived in Brighton and exhibited with a local Gallery, but in 1996 the decision was made to leave the UK for Hungary, in order to find a reliable and viable source of income once and for all. Since then it has sometimes seemed that teaching English as a foreign language eclipsed all dreams to live the creative life altogether, but it was never able to completely able to let go of that dream. In more recent years there has been more and more involvement in the alternative Budapest art scene, which tends to follow a more inclusive approach that has become somewhat more open to self-taught artists. Since 2020 the pandemic has put a hold to much of this. However, since the end of 2021, Lynda Stevens is now represented in part by the Szentendre-based MiDo Galéria. Since then, there has been an auction event in Szentendre, and an exhibition in Vecsés, a town just outside Budapest.
Nowadays Lynda Stevens’s artwork consists of abstract mixed-media collage pieces, some on paper, using a bastardised marbling technique, onto which squares or triangles of other materials are added. Canvas rather than self-created boards are now also used to create other, larger compositions, often incorporating cutouts from her paper-based collages. In both cases, her aim is to create highly textured pieces that capture light through the interplay of opaque and reflective surfaces, so that many of her completed works will present a very different impression on the viewer, depending on how they are viewed. Recently, this work was discussed and written about as part of a thesis by Adrienn Demeter, which can be read on her website.
Even more recently, Lynda Stevens’s work has been focusing more on experimenting with paint alone, in which acrylic and enamel pours are used as a background for splatter techniques, to create works intended to evoke deep space, starry firmaments and nebulae.
There are sectioned devoted to the original artistic expression Stevens was engaged in the drawing sections, where colours and patterns are juxtaposed in each composition. Her life drawing work is also featured on this site.
I see my creative path as being one with no absolute destination – the process of creating is as important as the result.
In my work I often like to explore the tensions between chaos and form – and how chaos can break up stagnant forms into something more dynamic, or how form can bring beauty out of what was inchoate. Thus, sources of inspiration might include city encroaching on country and vice-versa, the dynamism of volcanoes, oceanic tides and so on. However, as the creative process for me mainly comes about via a process of psychic automatism, so that it is guided by an ebb and flow of subconscious impressions, both inner and outer landscapes tending to be superimposed upon one other, in any given composition.
My pieces may be layered, worked and reworked again, so that an inner alchemical process runs through as a theme in all my works, whereby each piece is further altered and refined into something very different from what it may have been in the first place. These materials have sometimes included materials that might otherwise be perceived as rubbish – glass crystals from broken cars/buildings, gypsum, melted polystyrene and so on. More recently, material used include metal foil, geometrical shapes cut from older collages, clay in which patterns can be imprinted, and crack paint. The layers of my works often represent memories encoded in newer and older layers, adding more and more complexity to each surface. The layers are also intended to create the sense of age or erosion within my larger pieces.
I especially prefer to work with translucent and reflective surfaces where the shimmer of gold, silver, copper or iridescent paints capture light, sometimes alongside glass and/or beads, infuse my works, being interactive with the environment and the interplay of light.
My abstract drawings are sequential in the way a musical composition might be.
My life drawings endeavour to produce a more accurate likeness of the model in terms of proportion and pose, whilst imbuing each image with my own, unique style.
2019 Abstract Mixed Media Heat Flash
2017 Abstract Mixed Media Storm Over Gold Columns
2018 Abstract Mixed Media Peeling the Onion 1
2018 Abstract Mixed Media Sun Flare
2019 Abstract Mixed Media Dazzling Darkness
2022 Abstract Mixed Media Cardinal Moments
2015 Abstract Mixed Media Gold Columns on Green
2017 Abstract Mixed Media Sparklers in Frosty Morning Light
2017 Abstract Mixed Media Triangles in Turquoise Blue
2018 Abstract Mixed Media March of Triangles 1
All images © Lynda Stevens
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