Stephen Mauldin Profile Picture

Stephen Mauldin

Portland, Oregon, United States
Artist (Painting)
Born 1952
The artist doesn't paint what he sees, he paints what he wants the viewer to see.

I started drawing at the age of about seven, got my first oil painting set at about ten and, sometime in-between, first saw an exhibition of Leonardo da Vinci’s engineering exploits.  I was sold.  I wanted to be an artist like him.  

I have made it a habit over the years to play with paint in order to learn more about what it is capable (and not capable) of doing.  This has led me to paint on glass, then transfer that paint into "paint assemblages", extrude paint from modified syringes creating webbed paintings that resemble bent, colored wire, and most recently, to sling paint from ultra-fine straight pins, at very high speed, onto canvas.  The mark created by doing this just blew me away the first time I made it.  Its defining characteristic is electric energy, but the incredibly fine nature of the mark is also striking.  It immediately struck me as the perfect visual signifier for string theory.  I decided to use the mark in the expression of the ideas I had been dealing with for years. 

Beginning around 2006, I used this mark to create images of "the universe of mind and spirit" as I envisioned it, inspired by images of the physical universe produced by the Hubble space telescope.  I worked for several years to refine these, especially the     spatial aspects, then moved on to a series of radiant "figures" set against a web inspired by the distribution of galaxies and galaxy clusters in the early universe.  (A web, I might add, that looks remarkably like the web of neurons in the brain.)  All through this period, I wondered about mixing color optically by overlapping the fine skeins produced by this mark and eventually began a series to explore the matter.  The “Poles” series began as single panels, but evolved into two panel pieces, then three panel pieces, and ultimately a four panel piece.  The series is, on one level, simply an exploration of the colors that can be mixed in this manner. On a deeper level, however, it still deals with the same issues I've always dealt with, just in a more abstract idiom. 

I am now seventeen paintings into a new series that expands on the look of the diamond-shaped panels in the last eight “Poles” pieces.  These new pieces deal with the optical mixing of color exclusively, although they suggest energy condensing into matter to me, as well.  Others have suggested they resemble “dreamcatchers”.  Ultimately, there will be twenty-four paintings in this series.  They are unstretched and have grommets on each corner to attach them to the wall.  To me, the magic of a painting is the fact that it’s just a piece of fabric with paint on it, yet it can create such magic.  I want that to be more evident in these new pieces, right down to the raw, torn fabric around the outer edges.


Discover contemporary artworks by Stephen Mauldin, browse recent artworks and buy online. Categories: contemporary american artists (born 1952). Artistic domains: Painting. Account type: Artist , member since 2020 (Country of origin United States). Buy Stephen Mauldin's latest works on Artmajeur: Discover great art by contemporary artist Stephen Mauldin. Browse artworks, buy original art or high end prints.

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