Steve was born and raised in England and trained to be an architect at Cambridge University. His interest in the profession grew from watching his architect father at work and he also inherited from him and other Rayner forebears, some of whom were noted Victorian artists, a life-long passion for drawing and painting. He spent a few years indulging another passion, flying, employed as an airline pilot with British Midland Airways in the late 1970s and early 1980s, before returning to architecture. He emigrated to Vancouver with his wife and two daughters in 1994 and worked as an architect in BC up until his retirement from the profession in 2017.
As an architect, he was concerned with finding a balance between space, structure and aesthetics, the traditional tenets of Commodity, Firmness and Delight. As an artist, he is fascinated by similar aspects of the natural and man-made world, the challenge of depicting forms, textures and colour in ways that describe the fundamental essence of our environment and capture the effects of light. He is inspired by the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, seeking to convey the emotional connection he feels with its many facets – water, rock, trees – through the portrayal of its landscape, close or distant in scale.
Steve is an Associate Member of the Federation of Canadian Artists. He is represented in Vancouver by Art Works Gallery.