Jun 02, 2011 10:12AM ● Published by Style
Photo by Dante Fontana
John Lennon once said of how he felt about the Beatles’ story, “Make your own dream.”
That’s what Stephen Ward, a self-described Lennon fan, has been doing his whole life. He always knew he was going to be an artist. Even as an infant he remembers thinking that the mobile flying over his crib had great colors. “I am obsessed with color and art,” Ward explains. Along with color, this San Francisco Bay Area-native and now Folsom resident also loves experimenting with texture and different artistic mediums.
Thank goodness Mrs. Lamb, Ward’s third grade teacher, saw what we all see now – an artist that is passionate about his work. The art teacher was so impressed by one of his drawings that she paraded him and his work throughout the school showing other teachers. “She inspired me,” Ward says.
Ward was blessed to have supportive and great art teachers while in school in the Bay Area and beyond. He attended classes here at Sierra College and Sacramento State. Following, he went to the College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland and to the Los Angeles Art Center. “That is where I learned the commercial end of art,” Ward says. He continued his education of fine art by spending years roaming around galleries and museums throughout the world.
He knew art would be his life’s work, but knew fine art would not let him make a living. So, he started a graphic arts company and soon his own commercial art business. After 30 years, he sold his company and is now focusing on fine art. “Now I have the time to give my art my all,” Ward explains. His home office and garage studio are filled with his work along with the presence of his precious dog and constant companion, Lucy. “She keeps me company,” Ward says.
His styles range from impressionism to fruit still-life’s emulating the Old Masters. He loves to create paintings both small with very minute detail to huge 4x7-feet canvases. “It takes about the same time to paint a small or big canvas,” Ward explains. “For a big painting I just need more paint and a bigger brush.”
Along with many other series, Ward has been busy at work on his “Nature in Abstract” series where he uses permanent dyes and lots of water on illustration board to create a very fluid and organic background. He then finishes the piece by adding very detailed paintings of colorful tropical fish, birds and other animals. These pieces were inspired by his experiences while scuba diving around the world.
K.C. Caitano, assistant manager of Artistic Edge in Sacramento, is very enthusiastic about Ward’s work. They have been featuring his work for more than two years – making Ward one of their longest standing clients. The gallery staff knows that Ward’s canvases draw people in. “We enjoy having him in our gallery,” Caitano explains. “His work is not something you see everyday.”
Locally, check out Ward’s art at the Town & Country Art Fiesta in Sacramento on June 4 and 5.
For more information, visit stephenwardart.com.