When opening up the Aug/Sep issue of Plein Air Magazine, I felt overjoyed and excited. My first print publication! Plein Air Magazine is a favorite of mine. While studying each page, I identify with the artists. They are getting…
B. Rex Stewart
Artist living and working in Northwestern Montana, B. Rex Stewart divides his time (not equally) between studio and plein air painting. He is represented by the Sandpiper Gallery in Polson, Montana. His work can also be found on Daily Paint Works and Saatchi Art.
After a long and fruitful career in commercial art, in 2010 Stewart chose to focus his efforts entirely on fine art, particularly painting. A life changing event reminded him that there is more to life than monetary rewards and he could no longer contain his true calling–art. The muse finally won over, giving Stewart a passion that has been unstoppable in his drive to hone and refine his vision.
“It’s always been there, my love and joy that comes from creating art. I put down the oil paints in 1996 and only drew. I have boxes and boxes of sketch books, and I still love drawing. But now I create more in oils,” Stewart said. “My art instructors weren’t particularly fond of me at the university. It wasn’t until years later I realized that they were trying to create illustrators. I didn’t want to become an illustrator. I wanted to paint. I wanted nothing more than to become a painter.”
Concentrating mainly on landscapes, Stewart also paints a myriad of other subjects. He often says It’s not what you paint, it’s how you paint it. While not considering himself a wildlife painter, Rex’s countless years of drawing everything he loves allows him to paint animals with the draftsmanship of a wildlife artist.
“Anything or anyplace where the light falls, that is where you will find my brush”, Stewart said when asked about his subject focus. “I go wherever my eye leads me. I don’t want to fence myself in or give myself barriers and stifle any direction or opportunities.” He refuses to label or limit his process or wherever his muse takes him.
Passion for Plein Air
Painting from direct observation is the most rewarding part of the creative experience for Stewart. Facing nature with it’s ever changing light and conditions, experimenting with different palettes and substrates, and not to mention the many different techniques that one can employ in alla prima–all of this affords Stewart a safe haven (relatively speaking) to juxtapose all he has learned up to that moment of putting brush to canvas
“Painting for me is a process, a long process of learning that never ends. If I reach a state where things are simply a recipe and I’m no longer experimenting with paint– that’s when my art will be lifeless. I won’t allow for that, ever. The process and learning never ends. And I’m happy for it.” Stewart said.