Steve MacFarlane is a talented printmaker with enviable draftsmanship skills that are reflected in his astutely observed drawings and prints. His imagery often blurs the line between realism and abstraction, and loaded with expressive marks and color. Personally we love his ingenious sense of humor and wise observations about the landscape along the Duwamish River. It's the type of place where anything might happen, from the sudden appearance of a swat team to a jumping salmon. Steve gives good commentary both off and on the picture plane.Steve's primary focus while working along the Duwamish River is, well, the landscape. He often works in charcoal to create drawings that he translates into monoprints once back in his studio. During an exhibit last fall at the North Seattle Community College Gallery of Residency artists' work, Steve treated us to a demonstration of his process by displaying a series of sketches, drawings and proofs, to finished monoprints of single images.
Here is what Steve had to say about joining the Residency:
When I was asked to join a Residency on the Duwamish River, I instantly said yes. Not only was it an intriguing idea, to spend a week creating art in an area unfamiliar to me, but also a chance to work alongside other artists, seeing what energy and interpretations they would bring to the experience. I had no idea what this was going to be like as I am used to working in the pretty controlled environment of my studio. On the river, I would be subject to the vagaries of weather, light, access to sites and the physical constraints of how to actually create artwork outside of the studio in potentially awkward spaces.
My work also typically focuses on the human figure and now I had this whole industrial landscape to work from - very outside my comfort zone.
There are stretches of the river, once heavily channelized and industrialized, that are surprisingly beautiful - areas where natural forces are reclaiming the riverbanks. What I hope to capture in my work are indicators of the inevitability of Nature's power to break down our insistence and drive to control our environment through the dynamic, ever-changing way it advances, regardless of, and even despite, our efforts.
The Duwamish River Residency, now my third year of participation, has been an incredible journey of creativity and exploration. I credit the other participating artists in no small way for making this happen. The camaraderie and challenge extended by all the participants has made this one of the more dynamic projects to have been a part of.
Stephen MacFarlane is a professional artist based in the Seattle area. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Grinnell College. His training in fine arts and printmaking comes from Pratt Fine Arts Center and the School of Visual Concepts in Seattle.
His work on paper utilizes a printing press, ink and drawing to create one of a kind art pieces that link the delicate roles line and color play together in evoking emotion. He has shown extensively in the Puget Sound area as well as on the East Coast and is included in many collections both locally and internationally. www.smacfarlane.com stephenmacfarlaneart(at)gmail.com 206-349-9544