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Annette Stephen’s watercolours are lively and expressive, with a strong emphasis on light and vibrant colour. Her style was uncomplicated, and she produced assured work which captured both mood and place with extraordinary accuracy. Her paintings depicted subjects close to the artist’s heart, reminding us of her fondness for east coast fishing boats and harbours, the landscape of Kincardineshire and Deeside, and particularly of her home village, Catterline.
Annette Stephen was born in Aberdeen and went on to study at Edinburgh College of Art, before moving to France preceding the outbreak of WWII. After returning home, she taught art in the Aberdeen area before buying the ruined customs watchhouse perched on the clifftop at Catterline, near Stonehaven in 1950. The Watchie became her studio and allowed her the freedom to practise painting. Although born in Aberdeen and raised in Stonehaven, she lived in the tiny neighbouring, village of Catterline virtually all her adult life, after marrying Jim Stephen, a local fisherman.