Mary Lou Stewart
M.F.A., Mills College
Mary Lou Stewart received a B.F.A. in Fine Arts from the Kansas City Art Institute in Sculpture and a M.F.A. in Fine Arts in Painting from Mills College in Oakland, CA. Prior to coming to Elmhurst College she had several years of experience teaching art and art education at colleges and universities. She has taught undergraduate art courses for over two decades and at Elmhurst College Art Department teaches courses in drawing and painting, as well as overseeing the K – 12 art certification program. She has been on faculty at Elmhurst College since 1997 and has chaired the Department of Art since 2001. She has been a practicing artist for over 30 years creating both large (e.g., 7’ x 11’) and small (e.g., 8” x 10”) scale abstract landscape acrylic paintings with collage elements stressing pattern and texture. Her work has been widely exhibited in one person and group exhibitions both in national and international exhibitions. Her work has received several honors and is included in museums and private collections nationally.
“Highly influenced by Japanese scroll and screen painting since 1984, my interest in the horizon and landscape has dominated my work. I consider myself a surface pattern painter. I have been continually concerned with the special relationships between patterned and textured field, shapes, lines and color. Initially, I built these surfaces with layers of sanded paint to create actual textures. Now, my surfaces are also painted; simulated textures using gesture, finger painting, dripping and collage elements. I use borders to contain the gesture, chaos and highly textured surface into a total statement. In the artwork Untitled Horizon #85, one can identify most of the elements described, however this artwork is one in a series that I created that employed the technique of monotype printing. In this process, the image is first painted on glass and the paper placed over the image and rubbed until image is “printed” on the paper. This process can be done many times on the same image. Each print is one of a kind – a monotype.”