ARTisSpectrum | Volume 29 |
he watercolor paintings of
American artist
Tom Stewart
reflect both the artist’s personal
experience of the magnificence of
the ocean and a general reverence
and awe for the natural world.
Combining transparent, opaque,
and sometimes metallic watercolor
pigments, Stewart allows his
paintings to flow in a spontaneous
and intuitive manner, where “the
watercolor medium steers me as
much as I steer it.” As he reacts to
the flow and independence of the
paint, he infuses a vitality and sense
of life into the work.
The texture and sense of movement
so intrinsic to Stewart’s paintings
result from a combination of
passionate brushstrokes and the
incorporation of acrylics, wax
mediums and oil crayons into the
process. Initially, his paintings are more abstract expressionistic, and it is only at the end that he adds the details necessary
to create a representational effect. What results are paintings that are equally emotive and realistic, encouraging viewers
to recall their own visceral experience of the sea.
Inspired by a lifelong passion for the sea, Stewart creates paintings as breathtakingly beautiful as they are sensory as he
honors the perpetual motion yet immutability of the ocean body that has persisted for billions of years. As he explains, “I
have vivid memories of taking in the vast ocean experience: the sustained roar of breaking surf, the feel of shifting sand
beneath my disappearing feet, and the scintillating light amidst churning waters. I paint from such memories, almost in
hopes of soothing a feeling that approaches homesickness.” Indeed, Stewart’s paintings capture this profound emotionality,
reminding the viewer of their own innate connection to the ocean and all the wonders it contains.
Tom Stewart currently lives and works in coastal Maine.
Tom Stewart
Reef Textures Watercolor & Cold Wax on Clayboard 12.5” x 15.5”
Soaring Gull Watercolor on Paper 20” x 28”
Tom in his Studio
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