Interviewing Jonathan Stewardson 🇬🇧
His art works are often an attempt to paint a memory; whether rough sleeping in the city, or during better times on the coast, Jonathan’s paintings concentrate on atmosphere and emotion.
Some pictures seem a bit lonely, and when there are people, Jonathan sometimes likes to be one of them, painting himself into the scene
His London and Brighton works many times show an empty stage, opposite the bustling movement of people of both cities. These still images show a more personal perspective to the viewer, elevating the moment and holding it with extraordinary talent on the canvas.
Previous commissions include works for The Crowned Prince of Dubai and The King of Saudi Arabia.
Art5: Where do you live?
I live on the Southeast coast of England (at the moment).
Art5: Since when have you been an artist?
I have been an artist since I was 6 years old. That’s when I knew it was what I wanted to be.
Art5: What would you call your style of art?
Someone described it as "Romantic Realism". I like that.
Art5: Did you study Art or are you self taught? What did you study?
I was always in the art rooms at school. By 16 I think I knew enough to be a painter.
Art5: Is painting a full time job or do you do another thing? If you also do
something else, what is it?
Painting is my full-time job.
Art5: What are your hobbies?
I like to read and keep fit. I do jogging and cycling when I can.
Art5: Where do you paint?
At the moment I paint in the spare bedroom of my home.
Art5: What mediums do you work with?
I use oil and acrylics.
Art5: Professionally, what is your goal?
I think just to have a steady income.
Art5: Does personal history work its way into your practice? How might who you are
be reflected in your current work?
Most of my paintings have a little story to them and it’s often something from my past.
Art5: What are you presently inspired by— are there particular things you are
reading, listening to or looking at to fuel your work?
Recently I have been looking through old family photos. They seem to help.
Art5: How has your style changed over the years?
I think it has become a bit more structured. I am trying now to reverse that a bit.
Art5:. What do you believe is a key element in creating a good composition?
Maybe a story where possible. Something a viewer can relate to.
Art5: What makes you laugh?
Most things. Depending on my mood. But if it is bad day, then nearly nothing will.
Art5: What is art for you?
It can be a way to escape from reality.
Art5: Three things in your bucket list.
That’s got me thinking! I haven’t got one.
Art5: Where is your favourite place in the world?
I visit Coniston, Cumbria whenever I get the chance. One day I’d like to live there.
Actually, that could be the start of my bucket list!
Art5: Who are your favourite artists?
I like Hopper, Picasso, Constable. All the main ones really.
Art5: What is the most challenging part about being an artist?
I’d have to say the money side of it. Trying to balance painting what I like with what someone might buy.
Art5: What is the best part about creating art?
I think when a painting starts to come together as I want, it can be rewarding.
Art5: What is indispensable in your art studio?
My light. I have tried many lights, but the one I use now is perfect.
Art5: What is your favourite website?
I like YouTube. Always find good music.
Art5: How would your best friends describe you?
They would probably say I was a bit different.
Art5: What do you worry about and why?
It is usually money. And/or the health of my dogs.
Art5: How do you define success?
Being happy at work.
Art5: What does family mean to you?
Art5: Who has inspired you in your life and why?
My Dad mostly.
Art5: Your favourite book or author?
The Big Sleep. Raymond Chandler.
Art5: What is your favourite food?
Art5: What is the most interesting thing about you?
I do not believe there’s even one thing interesting about me.
Art5: What are you the most grateful for?
Art5: What words of wisdom would you pass unto your childhood self?
Do not ever smoke. Visit the dentist more, and relationships are not as important as you are going to think.
Art5: How do you want to be remembered?
As someone who cared about animals.
Art5: Do you have pets? What are they?
Three dogs and a cat.
Art5: What is your fondest childhood memory?
Playing frisbee with my Dad.
Art5: What music do you listen to? Do you paint with music?
I mostly listen to a mixture of classical and jazz.
Art5: What makes you cry?
All kinds of things.
Art5: What is “home” to you?
Where the dogs are.
Art5: What motivates you to succeed?
Just wanting to be confident in my income.
Art5: In what ways are you the same as your childhood self?
Apart from being taller and older, I seem to be just the same.
We have a fabulous election of artworks by Jonathan in our Brighton gallery and Online store, art5gallery.com. Come find the one for you.