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David P. Stephens

Painter of Maritime Life

Gallery Four

Edinburgh Taxi (1988)

Painted from memory in oils on canvas, this scene was inspired by my 1985 visit to Edinburgh. This was my first visual encounter with the Scottish city as I disembarked from the train.











You Lucky Dog You! (1989)

This colourful fantasy image depicts one very lucky dog spending a summer afternoon of leisure on a secluded maritime beach. This work is complementary to Piss Off! , another "beach dog" painting, which can be viewed at Stephen Outhouse's Wood Studio, Brighton, N.S.

Here's to those "dog days of summer"!







Making Music (1997)

A fine large maritime morning, the air fills with the sound of strathspeys, jigs and reels. A colourful local left-handed fiddler belts out a few tunes with his friend along the rugged western Cape Breton coastline.








Nova Scotia Crucifixion (1991) The "Fisherman's Cross" was the primary source of inspiration for this interesting work. It also reflects some personal issues I was dealing with at the time. Nova Scotia Crucifixion was selected by curator Dr. Michael Bird for inclusion in the exhibit, Beyond Time and Circumstance: Art As A Spiritual Vision held in 1992 at the Lynwood Arts Centre, Simcoe, Ontario. I had four works in the exhibition including, Wine of Oblivion, Wine of Oblivion (sketch), Crucifixion on the Yardarm and this piece described by some as "folk-surreal". In his catalogue Introduction, Dr. Bird commented, "David Stephens integrates both sacred and secular categories with his contemporary urban interpretations of familiar Christian iconography".


Ode to a Friend (1991) This painting was completed in the wee hours of the morning in my Khyber Building Studio, Barrington St., Halifax, N.S. My friend Lorne Reid is the subject matter. Here I tried to capture the spirit of Lorne and his work. He sits at his painting surrounded by several of his fanciful images which I have attempted to present in Lorne's style - in his honour. Lorne is wearing his signature "Oland's Schooner Lager Beer "ball cap, a case of Schooner by his side. The dog in the image is a stylized whippet. My parents had two of these wonderful creatures and Lorne was captivated by their grace, charm, and warmth of character. He included them in most of his paintings.

As I completed this painting, Lorne was on his death bed. When I returned home that morning, Lorne's sister-in-law phoned to break the news that Lorne had passed away just hours previous.

Lorne was the first of several artist friends to pass on, most from cancer. Sid Howard died the following year as did Donald Sabean and Wesley Hubley. My old pal Wilhelm Hess, painter of Inverness also succumbed to cancer. Photographer Michael Chisholm drowned while kayaking on Christmas Eve - at 36 years of age. Harold "Dick" Tutty was taken by cancer at age 75, his brother Gerald followed him the next year - the cancer took his life, yet he lost his purpose when he lost Dick. To date, Joe Norris , world renowned Lower Prospect painter has been the latest of these creative individuals to pass on. Thus, Ode to a Friend stands as a testimony to the spirited lives led by these great and talented maritime characters. They have touched my work and my soul, and collectively remain an inspiration to lead the life well lived - happiness in the pursuit of happiness.