Stewart Anstead

My Philosophy

Think about the things in life that you actually like to do every single day. There’s not many things that I can think of that I like to do every day, and artwork is on my mind on a daily basis. I like painting every day.

I really hope that shows in my work and that there’s something about it that you enjoy.

Art does a lot of things for me; it is therapy, it is intensity, it is a challenge, and the act of creating it is its own reward. If you were to ask me what the most interesting thing about painting is for me, I would honestly say it isn’t so much the work itself, but the people I meet in the process. It is fascinating to hear their story, what brought them to where they are now, and what they are passionate about.

I paint because I have a story to tell through the work. My collectors have their own stories to tell when it comes to the work they choose to display in their homes, offices, etc., and the great thing is to find that incredible moment when those stories come together.

Depicting stories is as fun as this craft gets. There is so much beauty here in Utah, from the mountains that frame the area, to the buildings and the people and the activities that happen here … there is a lifetime of subjects for all kinds of artists to recreate. It’s rustic, it’s contemporary, and it’s alive!

I paint the way I paint, and I suppose that my unique take on art is my methodology applied to the source material. I like to use a lot of paint; the strokes you see are usually thickly applied. I have always enjoyed the work of other artists who have mastered their technique of applying thick strokes to make up something recognizable. It lets me see it as a painting first, and then appreciate the subject that is rendered secondarily. For some reason, it is a lot more pleasing to me, and that appreciation has definitely influenced how I developed my style.

I’m a fan of using color. There is color in our world, and I want to draw it out of my subjects. I love contrast. There are often sharp contrast divisions between the objects in my work.

I have been painting since the 1990s. I paint in acrylics. I paint because I love it. It is just as exciting for me to paint as it is to go fishing. It is a great experience to spend my time on each piece. There is a wonderful period of discovery in tracking down my subject in person — trekking through forests or old towns — looking for the image waiting to be discovered.

Sometimes I will paint my reference painting on-site, but I will always take photos of the scene, too. This is the part of the process where I see it the way I want to, and can make digital renderings of my reality of the subject matter. I can take hours on this step until I am completely satisfied with the end result.

There are so many artists who have influenced my work, from many years ago to today. Here is a list of a few of them with links to their work:


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