Jack Stephenson trained at Walthamstow and Hornsey colleges of art and taught art in London for 30 years while regularly exhibiting at galleries in and around the Capital as well as at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. At the age of 40 he treated himself to a year’s sabbatical to take an MA in painting and printmaking at Goldsmith’s College, an experience which convinced him that painting was his priority.

At 50, he and his wife, botanical watercolourist, Christine Stephenson, took early retirement from teaching and moved to Suffolk where they both have studios.

Jack sees himself as working in the ongoing English figurative tradition and, perhaps unfashionably, values classic drawing skills above all as the basis of successful painting. Although he also paints landscapes and still-lifes, Jack is primarily a portraitist working to commission and has made the modern ‘conversation piece’ something of his own speciality.

He lists as his principal influences: Velazquez, William Nicholson, William Orpen, John Singer Sargent, John Ward, R.A. and, especially, Ken Howard, R.A. under whom he studied figurative composition at Walthamstow.

Jack has been a member of the Suffolk Group for 10 years and is currently its treasurer. He is also President of the Southwold Art Circle.

Working Practice


Jack Stephenson prefers to work as much as possible from the live model and most commissions require a minimum of three sittings supported by drawings and photographic references. In rare, exceptional circumstances, he has worked entirely from photographic reference. Jack runs regular tutorials in his studio at Theberton for students who are keen to learn traditional skills and develop themselves as serious artists. For more details please contact me by email.


I have recently given talks on such diverse painters as Richard Diebenkorn, William Nicholson, Rodrigo Moynahan and Antonio Mancini amongst others. My aim is to present to my audience the work of lesser known artists who deserve to be more widely appreciated. As a painter, I am most interested in the actual work of the chosen subject and, in general, my talks will be structured around a selected range of key works projected on a screen via Powerpoint and digital projector.

My usual fee for a talk is £150.


Painter’s tip
Paint the picture as a whole - don't paint anything twice until you've painted everything once.
Commission fees