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Stewart was born in Hertfordshire in 1954 and grew up on the South Coast and in London. Always drawing as a child it seemed natural that, on leaving school, he would go on to Art School. He studied at Twickenham (now Richmond) School of Art and Design and was taught by the maverick painter Stan Smith. He pursued a career as a freelance Illustrator and Designer, establishing his own Design consultancy in Richmond in 1985. In the early nineties, with computer's muscling in on all areas of design and illustration and replacing the use of traditional skills, Stewart took the decision to give (almost) all of it up and move his family to deepest, rural France to be a painter. Whilst illustration and graphic design commissions from England continued, he soon established a reputation locally as a landscape painter, with successful one man shows in Bordeaux, Bergerac and Perigueux. He was also in demand as a teacher, running three art groups with students of varying ages and abilities. In more recent years, having returned to England, Stewart has written and illustrated two award winning children's books, published both in the UK and the US, and has devoted himself to developing as a painter, lately turning more and more towards Still Life. Stewart brings to the genre his years of experience as an illustrator and painter of both landscape and figures – "As I observe a still life grouping with ever deepening intensity, the objects, and the space they occupy, become a landscape with depth and atmosphere revealed through the play of light across forms, all firmly rooted within a plane. And by adhering to strict accuracy in drawing and modelling, and by my pursuit of meticulous fidelity to form, texture and colour, I come up against all the challenges of a portrait painter, concerned with surface but trying all the time to say something deeper about the subject before me. To turn the familiar into something extraordinary." Stewart has taken a great deal of inspiration from studying the Dutch Stilleven artists of the 17th century but also finds himself returning again and again to the works of Andrew Wyeth, whose interiors, landscapes, figures and still life paintings captured light, texture and, above all mood and atmosphere, almost entirely through the most obsessive and meticulous draughtsmanship.
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