STEPHANIE GALLOWAY BROWN is a painter specialising in portraits with a passion for culture and a remarkable story working mostly in the medium of oils and beeswax.
She stumbles upon real life subjects going about their everyday lives and is often inspired to delve into the essence of their life behind the portrait. She endeavours to share her discoveries of the gems in our midst.
This path also led to her recent portrait project which took on a life of its own to became a book and exhibition called the Face of Extraordinary: Volunteers..
Stephanie has been selected as a finalist in several major Australian art awards including: 2013 – Salon des Refusés (Archibald), 2012 - Mortimore Art Prize, 2011 - Mortimore Art Prize, 2010 – Salon des Refusés (Archibald); 2009 – Black Swan Portrait Prize; 2008 – Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award; and 2008 – Mortimore Art Prize.
She is also a selected member for Portrait Artists Australia and a portrait art tutor.
She works mostly from commissions with many artworks hung in private collections around Australia and New Zealand.
Born and raised on a dairy farm in Matamata, New Zealand, Stephanie was always an explorer & left her homeland at the age of 20 to discover the world, immersing herself in local culture wherever she travelled. From the European art galleries and Turkish mosques, her journey eventually led her back to Australia where she settled in the Northern Beaches of Sydney..
For many years she followed a commercial art career before leaving it behind to focus completely on her fine arts.
There is something in a face that captivates us and speaks in silent testimony. A familiar comfort can not be defined as ugly nor beautiful, it just is. My work is a representation of an explorers quiet observations of lands and faces and their relationship to each another. Although I am drawn to paint faces I am looking to capture the moments of serenity and stillness while in quiet contemplation or mindful reflection. There are delights to be discovered exploring the crevices and peaks that are carved over a life time weathering our external & internal environments defining our character and essentially our face-scapes,
Ideas about colour combinations and textures may percolate in my thoughts for some time. While on my every day wanderings I will be inspired by a subject and the two will interfuse. Using beeswax in the work for me was like discovering the missing link, bringing oil paint, pigments and earth elements closer to a natural state. I start by painting with great gusto & excitement building up an abstract surface to work back into using materials mixed with encaustic or cold wax medium. It’s a very deliberate, violent attack to the surface, pouring, fusing, scraping, digging, gouging, sculpting, a process of destruction and rebuilding until I see the form start to emerge as if appearing from a haze. Slowing down I change direction becoming more focused and deliberate building up more realism, revelling in the unexpected beauty of imperfections. The wax brings a deep rich translucent sheen that almost glows, reminiscent to the layers of skin.