Insights & Anecdotes


"Over the Christmas Holidays, I had the pleasure of a small trip to the Hawaiian Islands. As I flew over the east part of Oahu heading for the Honolulu, I feasted my eyes on the beautiful and rich colours of the water and landscape. Racing to the beach almost straight from the tarmac, I could not wait to explore the warm waters for the spectacular sea life I remembered from my previous trips to Hawaii. To my surprise, the waters seemed almost barren. A few fish here and there, and the dreaded colour of dead coral scattered the sea floor. Nothing like I remembered just a mere five years before.  As I surfaced and poked my head out of the water to grab my bearings, I looked back at the beach, which was teaming with oil soaked bodies lined up as far as the eye could see. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to put two and two together. 

This led me to more global thoughts of the millions of tons of fish that have been pulled out of the ocean and the millions tons of plastic and garbage we have so kindly replaced them with. I could almost hear the beeping of the dump trucks backing up. Now, I know this is not breaking news, we have known for a long time the effects we humans have on the ocean and the environment, but I have to say, this was a low point on the trip for me because it really stopped me in my tracks and opened my eyes to how much we really take the ocean and its inhabitants for granted.

Upon my return, a client had request a painting but had given me free reign to pick the theme and create something special. I took this opportunity to explore my empathy’s with the particular issue was still fresh in my mind. I have always liked to dive into bright fantasy’s worlds to explore more dark concerns with my paintings, and I didn’t want this one to be any different, so I decided to depict what I would love to to see in the ocean.

Bright, radiant and pudgy fish stuck in fishy traffic.

** Very ironically, this painting was destroyed upon completion due to a human error that could have been avoided… No Joke." - Stewart Stephenson


Gill Lock, 2015 by Stewart Stephenson modern contemporary artist | Wood Panel, Acrylic Paintings

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