Carolyn Ann Steward

    Attributes

    • Female
    • Mixed media
    • Painter
    • tempera wax, oils
    • Illustrator

    Galleries

    Galleries exhibited in the past:
    Bryan Memorial Gallery, Jeffersonville, VT,

    Korongo Gallery, Randolph, VT

    Cortina Inn Rutland, community exhibits, VT

    DHMC art exhibits, Hanover NH

    Gifford Hospital private art exhibit, Randolph, VT

    White River Art and Craft ongoing exhibits, Randolph, VT

    Paletteers, ongoing art exhibits, Barre. VT

    Chandler, Community art exhibit, Randolph, VT

    About the artist

    The Inner Place

    If I were to tell you of a place you could go within the confines of your own self would you want to go there? Perhaps you know and do go there. All people have been there but some do not understand it. So this place may become covered up with worldly ideals until they no longer remember that such a place ever existed. Yet it's reality is as natural as the rest of life and the very young go there without effort as they fall into the spell of childlike play. This spiritual place can be magnified, dreamed of and thought about but it is not of our making. It comes from God who has come to dwell in us and feed our spirit with His spiritual manna.

    As an artist I found that it was the source of inspiration for my artwork. Inspiration for me did not come from natural beauty. After years of painting I still did not understand what it was I was doing until everything external to my vision became useless to me as a painter. It was then that I realized the place was within me all along. Even without painting I was going there to refresh my spirit.

    As I reviewed past works I realized that somehow this place was being expressed in spite of my understanding what it was. It was vulnerable as some work contained more while others less.. It had nothing to do with my skill as a painter. It had everything to do with the outer world not dictating what the inner world was experiencing.

    Value of Art

    I was taught to be disciplined in my visual skills, to understand just what I saw and do something wonderful. In my maturity I say that I do not care if it is wonderful but that it has found meaning beyond the mundane. In other words, the value of art is not a distilled or fragmented depiction of the world. Rather it must be a depiction of the wholesome spirit within man. This spirit must have his rightful place in the making of it. I go so far as to say that this inner world is where the spirit of God and man meet.

    During the Renaissance the shift toward nature began the creation of amazing art never before realized. As time past scripture became less depicted while nature and man became more. Yet the spiritual man became more noticeable through these later works. During the impressionist era reflected light became the primary focus for artists. It was around that same time that art began to be lauded for a distilled quality as seen in the works of Toulouse Lautrek or Henri Matisse. The connection to the inner relationship to God was begriming to wane into a depiction of a mundane idea. A further fragmentation was seen in the abstract works of Picasso where form looses all meaning, expressing an incomplete concept of vision.

    The point is that art shows us what is around us and what is in us. When we view an abstract work of art we must ask where is this work leading us? For it spirals our inner self into a direction. That is the power of art and can be the problem with it. So where is it taking us? This is the question that must be answered as we gaze upon what we deem art is.

    My art shows a spiritual recognition of Christ within us. As a child when I first began to draw I recognized that this connection was a teacher for me. It helped me know what I was doing. This inner relationship to God is in all of humanity as a guide or better known as a conscience. The expression of our inner world through language also can show this reality. The artist uses this language in a visual way. Just as one learns to talk so the artist learns to depict the visual world through an image. Therefore, just as sane people must remain faithful to who they truly are the artist also must express his inner personality. If art is meant to depict only the visual world it makes no sense at all to paint. We have eyes which do a better job than even the best camera can do. Fine art is not meant to merely show visual acuity.

    It is the human personality which is apparent in my work. I do not mean my personal opinion but a human connection to our creator. If my work is different from other artists it is because the personality has not been dwarfed by social climate, or inner disconnect. Many artist will produce work with personality but those showing an inner connection are rare. To mark this one might look for a feeling of a gaiety within the viewer as these works will inspire that. They may take the viewer if only for a moment, into a warm, childlike place, both spiritual, representational and three dimensional.

    A Word About Christian Art

    The Christian art had it's beginning in the Roman, Eastern and Greek culture. At that time art was either a representation of the world or of the 'gods' which these cultures worshipped. Also of that period there was pornography and commercial decorative art.

    It was in this environment that the Christians began to depict the message of their hope in Christ. They used cartoon like writings to depict biblical stories of Christ's life. This art however beautiful, was not meant to show the inner personality of the artist. It's purpose was able to carefully spread the message of the scriptures through centuries of illiterate populations through time. In time it developed a strict rule of language in order to keep the message easy to write, read and teach.

    For the most part the icon writings of the church was the only type of art until the Renaissance. It was at this time that Giotto's beautiful icons astonished the Church as he depicted images in a more three dimensional way. As mankind began to study the natural world his work took on more artistic interpretations. Interesting to note was the invention of the printing press in 1439, allowing more people to become literate and read scripture.

    In this environment a new Christian art flourished. Artists now emerged with individual voices. The works that followed showed physical reality in relationship to the spiritual life within. Many works of beauty followed this period for hundreds of years.

    Today we see more and more art born out of a denial of nature and the inner man. In replace of it there is a deliberate distortion of reality and/or a commercial adaptaion toward culture.