IFTA winner Ross Stewart is an Irish painter and Art Director for animation, having worked on Academy Award nominated full length feature film The Secret of Kells and currently in the US working on the next feature film from Laika. His artwork is semi abstract paintings; based on landscape studies but organically developed, focusing on the atmosphere and mood of the place rather than the representational form. His highly textured mixed media paintings evoke wide expanses of bog or moor, solitary trees or boulders with vivid, intricate details submerged under glazes of earthy colours. Ross Stewart has exhibited across Ireland and the UK over the last 13 years and his work is held in public and private collections internationally.
Ross Stewart says of his work :
"I am an Irish visual artist working from Kilkenny and produce paintings inspired by gestural landscapes, anatomical studies and animated background compositions. These mixtures are imbued with a contrast of calm and chaos, the energy of exploration and the light and atmosphere of imagined places. I have always been inspired by the beauty of the Irish landscape and tried to capture the subtle atmosphere, light and moods of the land. I use limited palettes, natural hues, high contrast focal points against subtle gradients, anything I can to help convey the emotion of the place. Using this as the starting point of the piece, I allow it to develop into something more than a landscape painting. The painting can become a mix of abstract shapes and symbols, perhaps interspersed with small sketches or printed shapes, developing organically toward an amalgam of real and flat space. My art is always about hidden items and layers covering layers. It is about balance of opposites; calm versus chaos, light against dark, colour amid greys; how the shapes within the frame can play with emphasis, tension, symmetry and balance. I am constantly exploring the varieties of textures available through the mixing of oils, acrylics, charcoal, thread and other media and using these to enhance the energy and mood of the work.. I would like to think of the finished piece conveying that energy - the energy of exploration, of the creative process, of hiding and revealing precious elements and layers, of working to achieve that ultimate balance or tension."