WHAT DO These Art Terms Mean:

  • Archival Paper?  Archival paper is buffered and ph neutral to prevent it from yellowing and disintegrating.
  • Museum Grade Paper?  Museum grade paper is 100% rag and has a shelf life exceeding 800 years.
  • Pigmented Inks?  Inks that are stable and non-fading.
  • Giclee Print?  It is an archival print on museum grade paper with pigmented inks. (Steven E. Counsell signs all his art prints.)
  • Offset Print?  An image printed on polished white paper. (Steven E. Counsell signs all his art prints.)
  • Bristol Board?  This is museum quality paper.  It is fine grained and smooth consisting of 100% rag paper used for original drawings and paintings.  This paper does not yellow nor disintegrate over centuries.
  • Watercolor Paper?  Steve uses Arches Brand 100% rag paper with texture.  This paper does not yellow nor disintegrate over centuries.    
  • Varnished Print?  Varnishing an art print brings up the color brightness, contrast, and depth of the image.
  • Graphite?  A fine quality pencil lead.

TOYS No. 2, drawing by Steven E. Counsell

What is Visionary Art?

First and foremost it is Vision, to pay full attention to any object or visual relationship – to stop generalizing sight.  To see the universal through the particular is to see in a Visionary way.  When we see the face of our beloved in all its breathtaking and heartbreaking precision, and know with biblical certainty the absurdly obvious truth, that this luminous being will never exist in quite the same way in the universe again – we are in the realm of the Visionary.  Any work of Art that honors the particularity of even a single grain of sand knows that everything is eminent and sips at the fountain of eternity.

NSIDE/OUT, drawing by Steven E. Counsell


The age of the machine has made us generalists, abstractionists, fully phallocentric right down to our toenails – machines fitted us with hard angles, speed, and the reduction of spirit to binary numbers.




APPROACHING THE HALLS OF THE BLESSED, painting detail by Steven E. Counsell


But the visionary gene is in rhythms.  The eternal feminine plays in the tides, the play of the seasons salt our oh-so-perishable flesh.  Our machines play us like an angler plays a fish.  But real play is in the drama of full presence.  To see beyond our stolen birthright back to the eagle that lives behind our eyes


STILL LIFE WITH TORNADO, painting by Steven E. Counsell

Subatomic particles fly through us without resistance.  We careen through space on this blue-green world at absurd speed, without resistance.  Our vision is boundless without resistance.  How can we resist a world that gives us infinite forms?  What is Visionary Art, open your eyes and as the poet Blake advised, "...see the world newly minted."






What is Myth?

In its simplest construction myth, is merely the stories culture tells about itself, or we tell in recalling our own memories.  Just because we call it realism doesn't alter its status as myth.  The Trojan War happened three thousand years ago, what we have is the Iliad.   Our childhood happened about as long ago, and what we remember will be a fragment, no more complete than the Iliad, in short – myth.

History, archeology, biography are all the crumbs from a full meal. If we had access to the whole (sic) truth — myth would vanish — and so, in all probability would art.


Fairies, Ogres, Trolls, Stalin, Plato, Us. We are not fabrications or lies or even artful dissembling but merely the inexhaustible realm of story — myth. Imagination fills the gaping holes that memory and time erase. So really, it’s how good an artist you are that’s crucial. And remember myth evolves, say from Cowboys and Indians, all the way to Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee.

SELF PORTRAIT AS A TREE, painting by Steven E. Counsell

I choose to dispense with the rationalizations that make truth and fiction kingdoms separated by an abyss, and instead embrace my mythic inheritance, in all likelihood the very thing that makes me fully human. The problem then, as I see it, is not myth but what kind we allow into our life. Are they life enhancing and joyous or cruel and murderous? We are after all the metaphor of our own life. What are the stories we will tell about ourselves? The leap of faith we make into our own mythology will determine the poetry, sovereignty, and beauty of our existence.






What is Surrealism?

Simply put, Surreal literally means – beyond Realism.  What a wealth of perception, history and possibilitylive in that, simply.  Simply it is the final flowering of the Romantic Movement.  Recall – Romanticism is feeling and thought unified through imagination.  And what a turn imagination took!