Introduction to Painting
Stuart’s childhood years have been enormously influential on his artistic career and visual development, born in 1958 into a working class family from Gravesend.
The son of a well known cockney painter and decorator known as ‘Digger’, Stuart was always surrounded by his father’s household gloss and emulsion paints. Stuart’s mother Jeannie, an equally strong character, was a Glaswegian known for her kindness yet eccentric personality and both parents, in their own unique way, encouraged and fostered Stuart’s natural instinct to be creative from an early age.
Due to exceptional interest, he was encouraged to present his first solo exhibition in 2001 which proved to be an unprecedented success setting a new sales record for a new artist at The Chromos Gallery in Canterbury, Kent.
Since then Stuart has exhibited both solo and group work at galleries across the UK including London and Manchester.
Stuart grew up surrounded by his father’s decorating brushes and paints. Growing up with easy access to these materials heavily influenced him and Stuart quickly gained the ability to recognise and identify his own painting technique and style.
Music has always been Stuart’s other passion, especially the work of David Bowie, who Stuart has seen perform live on virtually every tour since his first gig on 12 June 1973 on Bowie’s Aladdin Sane tour clocking up an impressive 65 shows across 30 years.
It was this dedication which saw Stuart invited in 2015 to be interviewed as part of the Victoria and Albert Museum’s documentary ‘David Bowie Is Happening’ – a celebration of Bowie’s music, style and art being the official film to accompany and promote the V&A ‘s aclaimed ‘David Bowie Is’ exhibition.
Recently he was also invited to contribute two chapters in the ‘My Bowie Story’ book published by Dale K Perry.
Along side Bowie, artists like Iggy Pop and T.Rex, became the soundtrack for Stuart’s teenage years, little realizing that eventually those favourite albums would become the main inspiration for a stunning collection of paintings.
Major Exhibitions and Sales
For many years, Stuart kept his painting private and did little to encourage his own artistic career aspirations. It wasn’t until Stuart was in his forties that he held a public exhibition of his work, which was met with great acclaim, boosting his confidence to continue.
Stuart’s first exhibition in London was at the New Inn Gallery, Shoreditch, in November 2002 where he presented a collection of paintings entitled, ‘Urban’, inspired by the imagery of the many hundreds of huge advertising billboards seen on London’s main commuter routes.
The result was a set of six abstract paintings, each representing a momentary glance of a London billboard captured from the window of a moving car.
In that same year Preston Haskell, America’s foremost collector of abstract art, purchased the painting ‘Arcade Game’ from the Urban series and now forms part of the renowned Haskell Collection in Jacksonville, Florida containing more than 300 major works by high profile international artists.
Since that sale, interest in Stuart’s work spiraled and resulted in sales to international collectors.
Examples of Stuart’s previous work has appeared in the following publications :-
- London’s Time Out
- Attitude Magazine
- Art Review Magazine
- Modern Painters
- Third Sector
Chromos Gallery, Canterbury – Solo Show – April 2001
New Yard Gallery, Shoreditch – ‘Urban’ – November 2002
Christies, St James’s, London – ‘Art for Life’ – March 2003
Business Design Gallery, Islington – ‘Inspirations’ – July 2003
Business Design Centre, Islington – ‘Fresh Art’ – July 2003
JAK Gallery, Hoxton, London – ‘LondonArt.co.uk’ – August 2003
Urbis Gallery, Manchester City Centre – ‘Manchester Art Show’ – November 2003
Christies, St James’s, London – ‘Art for Life’ – March 2004
Christies, St James’s, London – ‘Art for Life’ – March 2005
Christies, St James’s, London – ‘Art for Life’ – March 2006
Christies, St James’s, London – ‘Art for Life’ – March 2007
Blake Gallery, Gravesend – ‘Altered States’ – September 2011
Grid Art Fair, Southbank, London – April 2018
Stuart has been a great supporter of charities since he began his career, donating paintings regularly for auction since 2003 to Cancer Research UK’s prestigious Art for Life event, held at Christie’s, London, alongside major artists and designers including Billy Bragg, Sir Anthony Caro MBE and Beryl Cook, helping to raise thousands of pounds for the charity.
In addition, in 2003, as part of the ‘Inspirations’ exhibition, one of Stuart’s paintings was auctioned alongside submissions from Banksy, Tracey Emin and Grayson Perry in aid of The Terrence Higgins Trust charity.
New for 2018
Stuart returns to his hometown of Gravesend in July to open his much anticipated next exhibition ‘Icons – The Glam Rock Years’ at the Blake Gallery (named after the artist Sir Peter Blake, who studied art in the town in the 60s) before the show moves to the prestigious Clerkenwell Gallery in London the following week.Current Exhibition