Mark Stewart

(1951 - present)


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My aptitude to sketch and paint is providential, but the
skill as with most skills, is obtained through perseverance.
Strong inclinations toward the fundamental and academic,
whether natural or acquired, have always been part of my
personality. For me drawing is akin to walking or breathing,
and painting with watercolor as I do, simply expands that
ability with the added dimension of color. As with a sketch,
I can work very quickly, or slow down and build as patiently
as my emotions direct.

I prefer to communicate simply, keeping things to the
essence. While there may be some mystery about my
paintings, I think they demonstrate this attitude toward
expression and communication by depicting plainly and
clearly my feelings and the subject. Most people will agree
that art is fundamentally a form of communication, and
much of art and painting carries by intent a clear message.
Although inseparably linked with any work of art, I prefer
to relagate communication to a lesser position, maintaining
a desire to create something beautiful and hopefully of
technical excellence.
It is hard to know with any certainty what another person
experiences when viewing my work. To me, my work
conveys a sense of warmth and possibly friendship, and I
would hope the viewer would experience the same. One
of the strongest feelings I experience, and I think
fundamental to my personality, is a sense about the
progression of life and the accompanying change. While
change and aging bring diminishment in certain qualities
and abilities, this same progression also brings a richness
of character, wisdom and maybe a legacy, which are all
inextricable with the deepest experience of joy. If my
work expresses a message, or a feeling about existence, I
would hope it would embody these feelings and beliefs. I
would like my work to go beyond meeting the eye and
intellect of the viewer and penetrate to the heart, to speak
of the joy and hope I feel about existence. There in part
lies the significance of my painting.

When I look at the works of my peers, and the current
direction of art and painting today, I perceive myself to be
somewhat of a dissident. While educated in a contemporary
artistic environment with its many abstract influences, I have
never seen the need to forsake reality. I enjoy going
deeper and deeper into the subject. While my work is
personal I do not wish to become so driven toward
introspection so as to shun traditional forms, which compose
the essence of my work. Neither is my desire to slavishly
copy nature, but rather to observe it clearly, interpreting
through my experience to create a personal expression.