This book is a tribute to the life and art of Queensland artist Peter Stephenson, who worked as a newspaper artist for the Courier Mail and Sunday Mail newspapers from 1948 to 1988.
The work of newspaper illustrators is often passed over in art history, yet to this day illustration work is a valuable source of steady income for the commercial artist. The work of press artists enlivens the written word of journalists and brings history to life for newspaper readers. A good illustration conveys the essence of an article, its mood and feeling, better than any photograph. It is a visual offset to opinion pieces and a boon to columnists. Aware of layout and space considerations, the illustrator draws on visual memory to quickly sketch lively images to order, within a daily deadline to complete the task.
Peter's newspaper and book illustrations, family portraits and caricatures of the rich and famous are a fine example of the art of drawing. They help document the styles and methods of graphic art in the pre-computer era.
His paintings, completed in his spare time, reflect his favourite subjects. They include lifelike portraits of birds and horses, and unmistakably Australian landscapes and seascapes. His media included delicate watercolours, pastel, oils and acrylics.
His life and art shows a great love for the Australian outback and its people. Thanks to all family and friends who unselfishly contributed images of paintings to make this book possible, Peter's talent is presented here for your appreciation and enjoyment.
Revised edition 2013