Hi, I’m Steve Bonner and I’m a self-taught professional artist, a painter, and one way or another, I pretty much always have been. For most of my life I worked commercially, writing and illustrating signs and posters, predominately posters for the Night Club and Leisure industry, in fact I still paint the occassional pub chalkboard – it’s good to keep my hand in. When computers took over, rather than put aside my paintbrushes (the posters were all hand painted in those days), I took to fine art and never looked back. I’ve been painting pictures ever since. My work still has a faintly graphical quality to it – probably always will. An Art Dealer once told me my paintings all looked like record album covers. He may have been right, but then he was an arse, as are so many in his profession, either way I resisted the temptation!
If I have to be pigeon-holed I suppose it would probably be as a marine artist. Whether I’m painting the beaches of Southern England, one of which is just a couple of hundred metres from my home, or those of beautiful Barbados in the Caribbean, the sea is often present. That said seascapes aren’t the only genre I’ll paint: I’m equally at home painting the figure, or occasional fantasy subjects, pretty much as the mood takes me!
I work in most mediums – oils, watercolours or acrylics, even airbrushing on occassion and, with my commercial background, I can happily work in household gloss and emulsion, paint is paint when all’s said and done, but my preference is always for oils: I love the malleability of oil paints, the way they take on a life of their own as you paint with them, the flow of the brush seems to define the painting as much as the subject – it’s huge fun. There really is no better medium for waves and clouds, and I adore painting waves and clouds!
I’ve long since given up my own gallery and with a very few exceptions my work is now only available online – predominantly from this website. My studio is in my garden in West Wittering, West Sussex, and is basically a giant shed (it IS pretty huge!) – it’s warm and dry, well ventilated, with good light, and so far has withstood the outrageous winds we get on this coast. As I said earlier it’s just a stones throw from one of the most beautiful beaches around, so give me a call to know you’re coming, then drive down, see my work and then stroll down the road to the real thing – just don’t chose a Bank Holiday weekend, with only one road on and off the Manhood Penninsula (as this area south of Chichester is bizarrely named) the holiday traffic can lock it up solid.
See you soon I hope. Warmest.