Stephen Ratomski seldom starts a painting or a print with an image. He begins with an idea that has a relationship to something he has observed. His artwork is a product of concentrated observation of places around him. He records information with photographs, sketches, collaged images and notes.
In his studio he starts to combine his observations from the landscape or urban settings into a composition, colour relationships, light, shapes and fragments of detail. He relishes in the spontaneity of the hand of the artist, freely interpreting brushstrokes, drawn marks, scratches and scrapes. This results in artworks with a strong sense of geometry and design as a means of balancing colours, textures and shapes. His work although abstract in execution, relates closely to seen or felt experiences in specific places. This entices viewers to recognise the environment he sees through layers of paint, ink and drawn marks creating complex surfaces capturing a sense of place, a mood or a feeling. His use of hand-made papers highlights his creative skill and dexterity as a painter and printmaker.
His artwork has been called romantic and he clearly works with deep feeling, spirituality and free expression.
I grew up in Helensburgh and now live and make art in Glasgow.
I enjoy working mainly in printmaking and in particular monoprinting. My subject matter at present is landscapes and buildings. Places that I have rediscovered since having a child. Where once I would have walked by now I stop and look a little bit closer and a little bit further with my son. I wish to celebrate buildings that maybe have had the beauty of their architecture overlooked. I’m interested in the fragility of specific sites (mainly areas around canals and rivers) and the traces left behind by industry and people. After a break from art for a number of years I am enjoying exploring my favourite medium again. I teach printmaking and work in arts and heritage as well as making prints on my kitchen table.
As a self-taught acrylic artist I have been painting for 4 years now. Most of my artwork over that period has been commission based, finding homes throughout the UK and Europe, but I am now strictly focusing on bringing my own imagery to the canvas. I gain my inspiration from modern contemporary artists such as Hopper and Vettriano, I love the way that they capture the atmosphere of a moment by their interpretation of light tones meeting dark in their art. I also enjoy the stencilised art of Banksy. Though sometimes considered controversial, his talent in using a minimal image that can convey a thousand words is there for all to see. My hometown of Glasgow will feature strongly in my future work, mostly its buildings and it’s people, in my attempt to capture and portray its heart. I feel it is now the right time for me to show a strength in my own acrylic artwork. Exciting times.