Stephen Henriques

Tectonic Plates




My paintings have always been distinctive because of their color.  I’m a colorist at heart, not that I can’t do the other things we know from the vocabulary of Modernist painting: layered surfaces, scratches, scrapes, dripping, lines, edges, blotches, open space, negative space, whatever. These techniques come in their own time–and after all I’ve been painting for years.


But what is painting?  I ask myself that all the time. I liken it to walking beside a river or following a sound. You don’t know where the river or sound will take you.  I never know where my work will take me– I can only follow it with an open heart.This is the hardest part, and the wonderful part.


The paintings change on their own, from my early abstract work, through the Jazz Series, the California Beach paintings, the Tectonic Plates Series–and now, they follow an unexpected circle back to elements in the natural world.


My artistic voice is my own, yet every painter must face his influences.  The rhythms of nature and jazz  inspire me – especially the music of Ornette Coleman, Eric Dolphy, Andrew Hill, John Coltrane, and Thelonious Monk.








Tectonic Plastes V, 2011, 47 x 46 1/2"

Tectonic Plates X, 2015, 51 x 47 1/2"

Tectonic Plates XI, 2015, 55 3/4 x 56"

Tectonic Plates II, 2011, 58 1/2 x 57 3/4"

Kind of Blue, 2018, 49 1/2 x 45 1/2"

Tectonic Plates XIII, 2016, 42 1/2 x 45 1/2"

Nature’s Dance, 2018, 62 1/4 x 58 3/4"

Alizarin Irin, 2018, 45 1/2 x 49 1/2"

Fire Lake VI, 2018, 52 1/2 x 55 1/4"