Stephanie Law finds magic in the mundane, bridging the botanical and fantastical in her watercolors. “Mythology has always drawn me in,” she says, “And I’m not alone in that. The oral traditions of myth had perpetuated through the ages because at the core of these stories are vital bits of humanity. They are pieces that resonate with me, and they inspire me to try to create visual reflections that I can hopefully share and create resonance with my viewers.”
Law is always striving to improve. Regarding her favorite piece, for example, she say,“I like to think that if my favorite is older than two years, I’m doing something wrong, because I want to be constantly getting better.” She is especially motivated by capturing those moments when “the minutia of existence is transformed from drabness by its potential to be magical.” On average, Law spends one week on a painting, from start to finish, although large pieces can take up to eighty hours of painting time.
She doodled as a child, and briefly studied Chinese ink painting, commenting, “I still think of those deceptively simple brushstrokes as some of the hardest things to master,” before settling on watercolors as a medium in 1999. In 2011 she decided to paint full time, and her clients have included Wizards of the Coast, HarperCollins, LUNA Books, Tachyon Books, Alderac Entertainment, and Green Ronin.
“They are pieces that resonate with me, and they inspire me to try to create visual reflections that I can hopefully share and create resonance with my viewers.”
“I think the parts of mythology that really capture me are not so much the overt magical elements, but the more subtle aspects — how everything, and every element of life becomes suffused with divinity.”
“It’s how I try to see the world around me, as a place filled with the potential for what it could be, and to find the unappreciated and sometimes hidden beauty.”
“I’ve been drawing and painting all of my life. I remember that whenever I felt bored, I would pull out a pencil or pen to start doodling.”
“Some of the first more disciplined painting I did when I was fairly young with a teacher who started showing me some of the very basic techniques of Chinese ink painting. I still think of those deceptively simple brushstrokes as some of the hardest things to master.”
A Very Difficult Game Indeed
“With my current techniques and medium of watercolors, I’ve been at it since about 1999, but it’s always changing and evolving as I experiment.”
“I came to the decision around 2001 that I couldn’t really conceive of my life without art as the central focus, and so I left software in San Francisco to really dive head first into my creative passions.”
”Just as my painting techniques are always changing, so is my favorite piece. I like to think that if my favorite is older than two years, I’m doing something wrong, because I want to be constantly getting better.”
“I guess the exception to that is when I’ve drastically changed my style, and I like some older piece for what it was at that time in my life. Currently my favorite is “Daphnis” from my tryptych of honeybee naiads. (The Thriae Thraie of ancient Greek mythology were said to have given Apollo the gift of prophecy). It’s my current favorite because it embodies two realms I’ve been trying to bridge in my art lately, my love of the fine detail of botanical artwork, and the fantastical.”
“When I’m not working on art, I’m exploring the world anew with my five-year-old daughter. I also love to dance. I’ve danced Flamenco for almost two decades now, as well as more recently tribal fusion belly dance, and ecstatic dance.”
“Movement is important to me, both physically, and in translation to the compositional flow of my paintings. And music — I’ve played piano most of my life, and lately have acquired and fallen in love with a hand pan.”