Stephen Gervais attended the Art Institute of Boston, majoring in Fine Arts. While attending school he worked as a stage hand for the Boston Opera Company, which was staging Don Giovanni.
Stephen returned to Providence and found employment as a carpenter at Trinity Square Repertory Theater, helping to construct staging for the Lederer Theater.
During this time, Stephen began to build up a body of art work, often choosing sights on Providence’s East Side as subject matter. A friend had learned of a local small press publisher by the name of Donald Grant, and suggested that Stephen bring his portfolio, and come with him as he was delivering art for a book project. Shortly thereafter Stephen was given a young adult adventure book project – “The Wonderful Lips of Thibong Linh” by Theodore Roscoe.
After that, Stephen was asked by the same publisher to illustrate the Special Limited Edition of “Christine”, which included a wrap-around cover and 13 black & white interiors, to be numbered and signed by both author and artist. Grant had shown Stephen King some paintings that Stephen had produced, inspired by “The Shining” at a NECON convention, and he was told later that he especially liked the” Woman in the Tub in Rm. 217”.
That following fall, Stephen received the Best Artist of the Year Award (1983) at the World Fantasy Convention held in Ottawa, Canada. Other titles quickly followed. Authors like Stephen King, Peter Straub, F. Paul Wilson, David Morrell, Clive Barker and Dean Koontz were being offered by various publishers.
Although Stephen has been asked to produce paintings for more recent film projects including a duplication of Gilbert Stuart’s Athenaeum Portrait of George Washington for Jim Wolpaw & Steve Gentile’s “First Face: The Buck Starts Here”, he is known more for his pencil & colored pencil work, including the film poster for “Complex World” and other editorial work.
Asked to talk about his style, Stephen said, “Style wise, I feel given the nature of a genre which often involves the supernatural, a highly representational style seemed most appropriate, allowing for a more effective visual suspension of disbelief by the reader. This way the integrity of the story (the idea) remains intact while the artwork hopefully helps enhance the impact of that captured moment within the narrative. A more stylized, conceptualized, or more impressionistic approach seems a bit indulgent to me and would ultimately distract from the narrative.”
H.P. Lovecraft’s work has always been an inspiration for Stephen, and has influenced much of his art and music. Being from the Providence area, the locale of many of Lovecraft’s stories, has added an important dimension to his appreciation, and has fired up his imagination.
Some of Stephen’s other work
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