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Get to know Nicholas...

Why art?

Art is the true expression of one's self. It is the time for one to feel safe baring their soul for all to see.

What is your background? 

I have received both my B.F.A. and I received my M.F.A. from Radford University with a concentration in painting. 

Drawing, watercolor, and oil painting are the mediums I typically work in.

I have spent two years teaching on the collegiate level at Radford University, and over 10 years teaching out of private studios in the city of Charlotte.

What does your work aim to say?

A new theme I have been developing in my work is the spiritual unfoldment of one's self. Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami gave a presentation entitled "Behold the Sacred Lotus Flower". In this presentation, Bodhinatha reminds us that the seed and root of divinity is within everyone and we must aim to seek it in everyone we meet.  He says spiritual unfoldment is a slow inexorable process. We start from the instinctive mind and as we mature gradually by living and learning from various experiences, we begin to unfold spiritually. Four practices help in that process, namely, good conduct, selfless service, bhakti/devotion and meditation. Bodhinatha uses the analogy of how a bud matures into a beautiful lotus flower and encourages us to visualise the lotus flower as being the symbol of our full potential in our quest for spiritual unfoldment. Evolving from our instinctive to intellectual to spiritual nature, our soul unfolds like the gorgeous lotus. This symbolic analogy of breaking through these barriers is one that intrigues me. My Bouquets of paint begin with the seed in the mud, protruding through the water and breaching the surface in splendid glory.

Who are your biggest influences?

I've had three great mentors in my career. Halide Salam, Z.L. Feng, and Andrew Braitman. I collect my look and artistic influence from a variety of artists. Bud Hopkins, Mark Rothko, Arahile Gorky, Andy Goldsworthy, Anslem Keifer,  Mark Bradford, Helen Frankenthaler, Alice Neel, Lucian Freud, Rauschenberg,  Jasper Johns to name a few.

How have you developed your career? 

Personal relationships and creating paintings with thoughtfulness and passion. The layering and application of the paint is always my main focus.

I have been lucky over the years to have made meaningful connections with people through studio work, teaching, and just being out in the public eye. People always respond positively to genuine love for one's craft.

What is your favorite part of the painting process?

My favorite part is the start of a painting. It has so much raw energy and freshness. My goal is always to keep the power and expressive quality that first pass through creates. 

QC Exclusive, September 2021

"The Artists Who Kept Us Inspired in 2021"

QC Exclusive, February 2021

"An Ever Changing Artist"

South Charlotte Magazine, January 2021

Voyage ATL, July 2018

"Art and Life with Nicholas Stewart"

QC Exclusive, November 2017

"The Charlotte Artists' Way"

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