About the Artist
In 1985, Florida artist Stephen Scott Young won first prize in
watercolor in American Artist's national art competition. Since
then his career has flourished and his paintings have met with critical
People compare Young with artists of the past, such as Winslow Homer.
That comparison is accurate, but Young's primary influences go back
even further, to the Old Masters. The first two artists who captivated
him were Vermeer and Caravaggio; when he first started painting
he was given picture books about their work.
After graduating from high school, Young studied for three years
at the Ringling School of Art in Sarasota, Florida, where he concentrated
on printmaking. He began working with watercolor as early as 1976,
but his mature style emerged in the mid-1980's. From that point
his work has developed surprisingly smoothly, toward ever-increasing
depth of space and ever-greater facility in handling the human figure.
His paintings show that he has looked closely at the watercolors
of both Winslow Homer and Thomas Eakins, the two greatest American
realists of the 19th century. Young's subject matter is to that
of Homer, who also visited the Bahamas and made paintings of black
models. In fact, a few of Young's paintings are a virtual recreation
of Homer's compositions.
For his sense of dramatic design and luminous, clear color, Young
perhaps owes most to Homer. His execution, however, is essentially
different and is influenced more by Eakins, who built up his watercolors
in a more constructed fashion with careful stippling. Eakins taught
him, as it were, to draw with watercolor. Young owes his careful
accuracy and his ability to create figures that are not simply flat
but have volume and weight to Eakins.
A virtuoso realist in the classic tradition, Stephen Scott Young
remains an anomaly on the modern scene. Major collectors avidly
seek his watercolors, but for the most part they are enthusiasts
of 19th-century painting who hang his works beside those of the
great realists of that century, such as Homer and Eakins. It is
impressive, of course, that Young's paintings can survive this stern
test and hold up with the best painting of the American past. In
some ways, however, this classic character of Scott's work has led
critics to miss its present-day relevance.
Young's paintings are not simply nostalgic but address the concerns
of contemporary life. Visually, they possess an indisputably modern
abstract power of design. Thematically, they deal with issues of
race and human dignity that are particularly troubling and pertinent
to the current American social condition.
Scott Young has had many one man exhibitions:
The John Surovek Gallery, Palm Beach
The Norton Gallery of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida
The Hunter Museum of Art, Chattanooga, Tennessee
The Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville, South Carolina
Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, Florida
The Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, Arkansas
The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio
Jacksonville Art Museum, Jacksonville, Florida
The Princess Street Gallery, Harbour Island, Bahamas
The Rich Gallery, London, England