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Stewart was born in Hertfordshire in England in 1954. ‘ I think I was born with a pencil in my hand. At school I was always the one that was best at drawing – I even won a national drawing competition aged 11.’ On leaving school Stewart studied at Richmond School of Art and Design, under the tutelage of the painter Stan Smith.

Stewart originally pursued a successful career as a graphic designer and illustrator, establishing his own agency in 1985. He still managed to keep up with his painting on weekends and when he moved to rural France he began to paint again every day, teaching numerous classes as well as staging successful exhibitions. Further to his painting Stewart has also written and illustrated two award-winning children’s books, published both in the UK and the US.

Bringing a wealth of experience as an illustrator and painter of landscapes and portraits, Stewart has increasingly come to focus on still life. He is greatly influenced by Dutch 17th-century Stilleven artists, and above all by Andrew Wyeth, whose meticulous draughtsmanship and evocation of mood and atmosphere all resonate with Stewart’s own work. Seeking to ‘turn the familiar into something extraordinary’, he views the challenges of the genre as being akin to those of portrait painting, combining a concern for surface detail with deeper understanding of the subject. ‘…just like the best portrait painters, I’m saying something much deeper about my subject. Far more than the monocular vision of a camera could ever hope to express.’

I think I was born with a pencil in my hand.

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