Drawing on the history of pattern and decoration, I use my respective medium of choice, oil painting, to explore the seemingly mundane ornamental patterns that pervade our lives.
The source material for my work comes from wallpaper, china patterns, and textiles. Items such as curtains, bedspreads and clothing, make their way into my work.
I grew up in a century old farm house, on a dairy farm in Mount Hope. The dining room had a decorative tin ceiling, and the walls were covered in a baroque style wallpaper. There was a china cabinet filled with china cups and saucers, ornamental plates and crystal wear. All of these decorative elements informed my idea of art.
Stephen Altena was born in Hamilton, Ontario. He is a graduate of Redeemer College University. He is also a graduate of the Independent Study Program at Dundas Valley School Of Art, under the instruction of John Wilkinson and Susan Detwiler. He has shown his work at Transit Gallery, Toronto Outdoor Exhibit, Hamilton Public Library, Hoop Gallery, and has sold works through the Art Gallery Of Hamilton’s Art Sale And Rental Gallery. Along with Andrew McPhail, he is the cofounder of The Hundred Dollar Gallery, which hosted the first ever Hamilton Biennale.