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Stephen Martyn Welch

Stephen Martyn Welch won New Zealand’s prestigious biennial Adam Portraiture Awards in 2012. Having been a finalist twice (in 2008 as well as 2 years earlier in 2006 where he was not only a finalist but also he was acknowledged with the People’s Choice Award. Since moving to Wanaka, Welch has also turned his hand to "plein air painting" to compliment his main genre of portraiture.


Stephen Martyn Welch
Stephen Martyn Welch - Artist

Stephen Martyn Welch

Stephen Martyn Welch, New Zealand’s portraiture artist.

Welch won New Zealand’s prestigious biennial Adam Portraiture Awards in 2012. Having been a finalist twice (in 2008 as well as 2 years earlier in 2006 where he was not only a finalist but also he was acknowledged with the People’s Choice Award.

Self taught, Stephen Martyn Welch cites influences such as Jenny Saville and Lucien Freud, but his work does not share their same fascination with the grotesque and the traumatic. Rather, Welch’s work is characterised by his intense fascination and curiosity with people, whom he portrays with great humanity.

He is not trying to tell a story or make his motive clear, he is showing you a split second in time that you, the viewer, can interpret as a narrative or decide where the split second will take you next.

Stephen Martyn Welch also features in Richard Wolfe’s book “New Zealand Portraits”

Whether through Award winning portraiture, presenting his own television show or private commissions, Welch continues to push the boundaries of portraiture. From style, technique to choice of sitter, his work is as much a discovery of people as it is a demonstration of his talent. His painting journey is centred on the belief that it doesn’t matter who you are - 

Everyone deserves a portrait.

Natural expression and alternating stylistic approaches depending on each subject, characterize Welch’s portraits which consistently present a “warts and all” image. “My engine is always running,” he says. “I ask my subjects to tell me the essence of their personality.”

 

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