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Artist Statement

Works and techniques from artists Joseph Albers, Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, and especially the work of Marc Rothko influenced Jeff’s time at The University of Southern Mississippi studying painting and design. Jeff’s initial work followed that of Rothko mostly in format though with watercolor usually the medium.

Maintaining the basic format of color field’s that were a component of Rothko’s work, Jeff is especially interested in the intensity and interaction of color and its perception with intent to promote an emotion or thought by the viewer.  In many cases Jeff utilizes multiple glazes of opaque and transparent color over each other allowing for its interaction. Because of this technique Jeff’ intent is for the viewer to see something different each time a painting is viewed. Proportion of color is also important with the utilization of intense color against larger fields and under painting of a more subtle color creating a balance within the painting.

Many of Jeff’s paintings resemble a horizon because of the horizontal format of paint strokes used in his painting technique and the color’s that are used.  Much of this comes from his life and that of nature as one looks across a beach at an ocean or body of water or that of a field in the country. Jeff is also an accomplished photographer with most of his work in Black and White or Sepia capturing landscapes. Jeff also uses photography to capture color images of horizons. Utilizing these images he takes colors, proportion, and format into a painting, looking for the subtleties of color and interaction that are found in nature, looking for something different or that is not obvious with a quick glance.


William Jeffery Stephens (Jeff) was born in Lafayette, Louisiana on February 14, 1959. His father is an architect and illustrator and as a young boy Jeff watched his father create in watercolor or pen and ink illustrations of the work he had developed. Jeff began drawing and painting at and early age and in 1981 began to formally study painting at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) as an undergrad though he did not graduate but instead joined the Air Force after two years. In 1988 Jeff married Jan Price and they moved to Dallas where he worked as a computer technician. During this time he completed his BSBM at LeTourneau University in 1993. Though Jeff works in Information Technology managing Data Systems and Strategy, he always maintained a connection to Art and painted usually in watercolor with some work in oil. Over the years Jeff completed an MBA from Tulane University in 2000 a PhD in International Development from The University of Southern Mississippi in 2009. In 2013 Jeff began painting most days after work and on weekends to produce a new body of work with the intention of becoming a full time artist. Jeff currently lives in Baton Rouge, LA and works in New Orleans, LA.


If you wish to contact me on about any of my artwork please feel free to contact me at the following email address:


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