Richard Stephens is a native of Hot Springs, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Central Arkansas in 1969 with a degree in art.

After serving in the Army as an illustrator, he began his commercial art career in 1971 with a design studio in Little Rock. There, he began forming a network of other artists, vendors and suppliers that allowed him to open his own studio in 1974 and has been freelancing out of Hot Springs since that time. After discovering the medium in college he always knew watercolor was his real "calling". Occasionally it would emerge, but he didn't start painting consistently again until 1992.

"I have always felt the years of designing and doing layouts with transparent markers was basically watercolor painting. The process and technique are very much the same. The best layouts have that loose, spontaneous watercolor feel to them. Now I do all my commercial design work on the computer. I enjoy it but I'm glad I did it the old way for all those years."

Stephens' work shows a wide range of subjects and techniques. "I feel my style is evolving to a more impressionistic approach to traditional watercolor subjects such as landscapes, architecture and figures."

During the past few years Stephens has enjoyed success by winning awards in numerous watercolor shows and competitions around the country. He has had several one-man exhibitions, participated in many group shows, and has studied under such well known watercolorists as Gary Myers, Tony Couch, Ken Hosmer, Mel Stabin and Alvaro Castagnet.

Stephens was recently named as one of ten "Artist to Watch" by Watercolor Magic magazine (December 2005 edition). Four of his paintings were featured in 200 Great Painting Ideas for Artists, by Carol Katchen, published by North Light Books.

Stephens' work is owned by individuals and corporations around the country. He is a member of the Arkansas League of Artists, the Mississippi Art Colony, and is a signature member of Mid-Southern Watercolorists, Southern Watercolor Society and Missouri Watercolor Society.

Click here to see the paintings.