Extract from Matter of Spirit
The book comprises an in depth analysis of Stevie's work.
From the chapter ‘Visual Language’ ‘These various elements, like words, although familiar, change in meaning and tone when rearranged in different orders or within different contexts. As artistic language develops and diversifies, new ideas normally discovered through periods of experimental drawing, gradually integrate with more familiar elements. In turn, through the practice of constant refinement, certain aspects retire, often making surprising periodic appearances; like a celebrity, who only needs to appear in order to create an impact. The necessity for action is almost superfluous.
Problems of making art are solved sometimes instantly through the attempted action of making art, although indirectly. As if through barking around the wrong tree in every direction, suddenly, inevitably, the right tree enters the line of vision. The setting of tasks provides a healthy structure within which to promote a sense of play, and thereby create the kind of environment where things appear to take on properties of transformation independently; that is almost without any conscious personal input. This extraordinary sensation is described eloquently in ‘Zen Keys’ ‘True creativity is only possible when the mind is empty and totally absorbed in the task at hand. Our intuitive wisdom and joy are brought into play in this kind of creativity, which is only possible when one is freed from the weight of self-consciousness. In Zen everything is in the doing, not in the contemplating. No amount of theory can ever be a substitute for experience.’[Hanh]
When playing with ideas and the physical matter of the materials, one can achieve true spontaneity; like a child at play in water or sand, or fishes , swimming in the deep ocean, intrinsically a part of everywhere they touch. In this way, the painting or drawing, which is no more or less than an exact recording of events, enables engagement and response, thereby, intuitive play itself becomes the main event, the overall or underlying message of the work. This is absolutely and wholeheartedly what is sought.