Fine Arts Instruction
with Jack Alan Stewart, BFA, MA

Class Offerings

Oil Painting The process of painting with pigments suspended in a drying oil may find its origins as far back as the fifth century, but oil painting did not become popular until the fifteenth century. Oil painters employ different oils, solvents and thinners to create faster or slower drying oils as well as various levels of density, translucency and sheen. Many of the world's most familiar and treasured works were created with oil paints.

watercolor instruction by Jack StewartWatercolors Many cultures have traditions of painting with pigments suspended in a water soluable liquid. The transparency and resulting luminosity of watercolor painting distinguishes it from other media such as oils or acrylics. Landscape painting, in particular, with its gradations of color and light, lends itself beautifully to interpretation with watercolor paints.

sumi-e instruction by Jack StewartSumi-e is an Asian style of brush painting that has a tradition stretching back over a thousand years. It is an art form that strives to capture the spirit or essence of an object or scene in the fewest possible brush strokes. Sumi-e is a contemplative art form. The same brush strokes are repeatedly practiced until they become the natural movements of the painter.

The tools of the sumi-e painter are the "Four Treasures": an ink stone, an ink stick, a brush and paper. The ink stone, which features a shallow depression, serves to prepare and contain the ink. The ink stick is composed of soot and resin and is molded into a decorative stick which is a work of art in itself. The preparation of ink, which takes place immediately prior to painting, is a form of moving meditation that helps the painter to prepare for the painting process. Brushes used for sumi-e are generally made from animal hair and bamboo. An important feature of a sumi-e brush is its ability to hold a very fine tip. A painter must be able to use one brush to create both wide and thin lines. Rice paper is most commonly used for Sumi-e painting due to its ability to absorb, yet not be overly absorbent.

Four paint strokes, called the "Four Gentlemen", are the bamboo, the orchid, the plum tree and the chrysanthemum. These four strokes are the basis for most sumi-e painting.

The sumi-e painter often applies a red seal to the work to signify the artist or a message of the artist.

Jack Stewart is a practitioner of sumi-e both as meditation and art.

Japanese calligraphy instruction with Jack StewartJapanese Calligraphy, the art of "Shodo" or artistic writing, is a traditional part of Japanese culture. While Japanese calligraphy is appreciated as a fine art, it is so much more. Each line created by the calligrapher's brush is meaningful. There is balance among the elements: the beginning, the direction, the end and the white space. The "Way of Writing" leads to an understanding of life's meaning and eternal truths.

Japanese calligraphy is a meditation in much the same way as the art of tea ceremony, ikebana (flower arranging) or sword fighting. Japanese calligraphy was traditionally studied by the aristocracy and the Samuri.

drawing instruction with Jack StewartDrawing is, for many, the most basic art form. Drawing is a two-dimensional art that can use any number of drawing tools on any number of different surfaces. The study of drawing encompasses the study of layout, perspective, proportion, shading and other methods and techniques that serve as fundamental skills in the visual arts. Drawing includes a number of subcategories such as cartooning, for which Jack Stewart has a special talent.

clay work instruction with Jack StewartClay Work The art of molding with clay for artistic and utilitarian purposes began in ancient times. The art form as well as the materials and tools have evolved along with man. While many still prefer to work with clay from natural deposits, polymer clays which can be fired in a kitchen oven are very popular.

Jack Stewart has experience creating three dimensional pieces with a number of different materials, including clay, and has installed a kiln in his studio for firing his own and his students' work.

To view more of Jack's clay work, visit his Gallery.

sculpting instruction with Jack StewartSculpting Although Jack teaches many forms of art, his preferred medium for self-expression is large-scale hand-chiseled local hardwoods, predominantly cherry, oak, maple and beech. His sculptures range from 2' to 6' in height and are meant to be viewed in the round.

Jack feels it is important to honor the original life-form of the tree from which each sculpture originates. In sculpting, he is attempting to bring out the wood's natural beauty nad design inherent in the wood.

To view more of Jack's sculptures, visit his Gallery.

Mold Making There are many forms of mold making using many different techniques. A mold might be created in order to produce one work of art or to allow the production of multiple pieces. Molds are used to create pewter, bronze and other metal scupltures from a wax or plaster original created by the artist. The making of death masks is an ancient practice that applies a layer of plaster to the face to create the mold or mask. As a scupltor, Jack Stewart utilizes and can provide instruction in various types of mold making.