Reba Stewart
Alton, Illinois
and Paintings
Puerto Rico
and Mobiles
Program in Women's & Gender Studies

  Reba continued with her graphic works after her return from Japan but began to explore painting again, this time employing more versatile acrylic pigments. Her mature approach exemplified a new vision, which combined a soundly developed sense of color harmony with a sophisticated sense of compositional balance — much of this gleaned from her travels throughout Asia.

Her paintings became an important focus of her style during her tenure as an instructor in Alton, Illinois. The selected works exhibit a powerful intensity in terms of mood and atmosphere while illustrating a growing adeptness in technique facilitated by the use of acrylic pigment on paper. Even though the works are relatively small in scale, they are potent compositions because of the manner of execution.

Isamu Noguchi, an artist whom she first met while in Japan, wrote to her in 1960 and encouraged her to continue her exploration of abstraction while complimenting her on her progress and determination:

"I must say that I am filled with admiration for what you have done — where there is a will there is a way — so I am sure you will find what you want in painting too. To desire and expect the most of one's self is the force that drives and how soon that is compromised.” “Reba Stewart's Paintings,” Dorothy Adlow, The Christian Science Monitor, Friday November 18, 1960.