Cyril Stephens Gallery
The Drawings and Paintings of Cyril Stephens (1916-97)
Cyril Stephens was a native of Cerney Wick who started working life as gardener at Atkyns Manor before becoming a painter and decorator, first with Cirencester Brewery and then in his own business working on many houses and buildings in South Cerney and the surrounding area.
A correspondence course begun in 1936 was the catalyst for his artistic talent which first found expression in caricatures for the South Cerney Players (of which he was a founding member), and artwork based on his wartime experiences with the Royal Navy in both the north Atlantic and south-east Asia.
The pictures highlighted here are from Cyril's most prolific period beginning in the mid-1960s when he co-founded the South Cerney Art Group, exhibited regularly at the Group's annual show and contributed illustrations to some early Trust publications. They feature many local street scenes and views, all captured in his trademark watercoloured pen and ink style. This technique involved producing an initial pencil sketch, refining this into a clean traced copy and finishing off in ink and colour wash.
We are very grateful to Cyril's son, Martin Stephens, for facilitating this gallery - based on the 2015 exhibition 'South Cerney Through My Eyes' which he curated - and for securing owners' agreement to their paintings being included.