Reba Stewart
Alton, Illinois
and Paintings
Puerto Rico
and Mobiles

Program in Women's & Gender Studies

  Reba began working with oils but, unhappy with her progress, turned to graphic design, in particular, the discipline of wood block prints. Challenged by the facility required of the medium, she traveled to Asia for a year to study with master printers in Japan. While working in Kyoto and Kobe, she learned basic traditional techniques and ultimately developed her own confident style combining several methods: paint, veneer board, and silkscreen, which emphasized the subtleties of wood grain textures juxtaposed with transitional color and rhythmical patterns. The Japanese experience had a transforming effect on Stewart's aesthetic sense.

"No place in the world could have been better for my pictures than Japan. I learned more there in one year than in Boston in ten years. And if I go someplace to live again, it will be Japan. It seems to be closer to what I am after than anything else I have seen." (Letter to Donald Kelley from Reba Stewart dated May, 1960.)