Ian’s artistic ability was recognised at age eleven, when he won an award at the Gippsland Art Exhibition. By fifteen he was a student at the Sale Technical College and studied architectural drawing and the history of art and painting in all mediums. His love for the environment sparked his strong commitment to preserve the Australian heritage by using his skill to record it.
In 1971, Ian relocated to Melbourne to study fine art and painting techniques at the Victorian Artist’s Society. He completed advanced art courses and attained a Diploma of Commercial Art. In addition to this experience, Ian broadened his artistic knowledge by travelling Australia and the world.
Ian’s first solo exhibition was held at the Young Originals Gallery in South Yarra, Melbourne. The response to this exhibition was phenomenal, with clients travelling interstate and waiting hours prior to its opening. This exhibition sold out completely as did over thirty one man exhibitions that followed throughout Australia.
Ian continued to win art awards including the Royal Overseas League in 1976. His winning painting was sent to London to represent Australia in a Commonwealth exhibition opened by Queen Elizabeth II. The painting received High Commendation by the judges from the Royal Academy of Arts.
In 1992, Ian relocated to Far North Queensland to fulfil a lifelong ambition of living in the tropics. He enjoyed incorporating his new environment into his diverse range of landscapes.
Ian is one of Australia’s most established artists and is among the minority of practicing professional artists who derive their income entirely from the proceeds of their artwork.
Ian's artwork has been purchased by Heads of State, American Presidents, Governor Generals, Prime Ministers, movie stars, oil companies, banks, major financial institutions, and private collectors.
Ian Stephens was born in Maffra, Victoria, and spent his youth on a rural property in the picturesque agricultural region of Gippsland. The comparative isolation of Ian’s early life allowed him to develop his natural talent without outside influence, resulting in a firmly individual style of painting.
'Light, colour, beauty, diversity - these elements of nature are a continuous source of inspiration to me. During my career I have developed several unique styles of painting. Each has culminated from a particular environmental influence in that period of my life. As a young artist the evolution of my 'sepia style' resulted in works reflecting my early country surroundings. More recently, a sea change to North Queensland in 1992 saw the introduction of more vibrant colours to my otherwise subtle palette. I continue to enjoy painting in both styles and sharing different aspects of my life through my art.'