Stephen Scott Young


Stephen Scott Young is one of America’s finest contemporary realist painters. Young’s watercolors and etchings have been compared to those of Winslow Homer and John Singer Sargent. Young is just one of the few living artists whose work has been offered for auction at Christie’s.


Early Life and Education

Young was born in Hawaii in 1957. He attributes his seclusive nature to his childhood as an army brat, moving to a new base every year and not honing the skills to make friends. He attended eleven different schools in eleven years. Young’s father served in the military, doing three tours in Viet Nam until, on his last tour, he lost his left leg.


Young’s mother recognized her son’s early interest in art. She gave him a series of art books, containing works by great masters, when he was nine years old. It was the realism and dramatic lighting in the work of Caravaggio that captured Young’s interest. The family moved to Gainesville, Florida when Young was fourteen. He attended the Ringling College of Art And Design in Sarasota. The college afforded him the opportunity to study printmaking as well as watercolor painting.


Career and Family Life

Young’s career and family life are closely meshed. While he was at the Ringling College he met design student Annette Farrington. They married in 1981 and have two children. Farrington is the seventh generation of original Bahamian settlers. It was thanks to her background that Young visited Harbour Island and got to see the settings where Winslow Homer painted some of his most extraordinary watercolors.


Young began to do remarkable paintings of the daily life of the inhabitants of Harbour Island in 1984. His drybrush technique, like that of Homer and Sargent, creates the striking effects of light and dark that characterizes his work.

Young also has a printing press in his Jupiter studio, where he creates masterful etchings. Young divides his time between Harbour Island and his home in Jupiter. His works are part of the permanent collection of the Brandywine River Museum, the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, Florida and others. 


Young is the subject of a book by Dr. William H. Gerdts, an art historian and professor at the City University of New York, titled Once Upon an Island: Stephen Scott Young in the Bahamas, published in 2012, in conjunction with an exhibit and sale of Young’s work at Christie’s, New York.


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