About the Artist
I am a Signature Member and Master Pastelist of the Pastel Society of America and in the Master’s Circle of the International Association of Pastel Societies. My abstract pastels have won awards from International Artist magazine, Pastel Society of America and the International Association of Pastel Societies. I am the author of Abstract Art Painting: Expressions in Mixed Media by Northlight Books and a series of videos on creating abstract art. I teach workshops throughout the United States and judge pastel competitions.
I create paintings in pastel and mixed media on canvas. My works are created in a non-objective style and abstract realism. Most of my work is inspired by nature and the environment. My current theme is titled Return to the Garden and I explore floral themes throughout the various media that I work in.
For most of my life my artwork was very realistic. I devoted most of my time to rending figures, portraits and flowers representationally. I became frustrated and stuck and wanted to go beyond realism. I entered into a period of searching and experimentation. I had always been drawn to abstraction so I began to experiment. I cut images apart, looked at things differently, drew from intuition, began to use color more expressively and tried new materials. I took small steps and grew more excited as I began to develop my own process of abstraction. Early works were mostly charcoal and pastel. I combined various underpaintings to create an abstract composition for my pastels. Pastel soon translated to mixed media acrylic paintings. Now I am in the process of teaching others and am excited that so many also want to go on the same journey.
My current theme is titled Return to the Garden. I am revisiting themes of my past which include plants, flowers and figures. I have returned to drawing from life and am combining these drawings with my abstractions for a new vision. My new paintings and pastels are based on drawings created in gardens. Plants and flowers are drawn from life. This is truly a meditative experience for me and allows me to center myself. I take these drawings back to my studio and they are used as the foundation for subsequent works. I follow their lines, remember the day and recreate garden impressions in my abstractions. In many ways I am creating an inner garden for myself. The garden is symbolic of emergence, growth, change and the fleeting beauty of life.
Other Events with Deborah Stewart
Art Talk, August 3rd, 4 – 6 p.m.
Seminar August 4 & 5, (9 to 4 p.m. each day) Register for 2 Days $225 or 1 Day $125