“Your work tells me a story, but I’m guessing the story isn’t the same one it tells other people or is even what you painted.”

~Whit Hollis – Collector/ Curator
Utah Artist Collection , University of Utah


The Outsiders


“I’m always asked about the painting and the artist. It instantly draws your eye to it and people often wonder what the inspiration was for the piece and the meaning behind it. People often think it reflects a moment of time in their own lives.”

~Rich Reitter, Collector

Ran Stewart

Artist Statement


When I was a child riding in the back seat of the family station wagon on never ending road trips, I’d entertain myself by staring out at the passing scenery. I’d squint my eyes and create a beautiful blurred world where only the most important, most vibrant colors, shapes, and elements remained. Those moments shaped the art I create today.

Take a moment yourself, squint your eyes and look at a family walking down the street, or the commuter train racing past or the lone figure walking down a street bathed in rain. As everything becomes blurred your mind picks up and sees only the most important parts of the story unfolding before your eyes.

My work attempts to capture these everyday moments in the same way and highlights the sublime beauty all around us. Many of my pieces explore the human experience within the ever moving and changing cityscape. Each piece explores our modern world and how we interact with it.

I’m often asked how I choose my subject matter. I’m drawn to the blurred images of a busy street or crowded airport terminal but also I’m very intrigued by the subtle mystery of silhouetted figures and how they weave into the story. And of course rain, I love the rain; the raw emotion it evokes, how it affects light and the amazing reflections it creates on a drenched street.

The images are a defocused, high key interpretation of what we see everyday. The blurred motion imparts the energy of the moment from the simplicity of being on an escalator, walking through a busy airport terminal, or getting caught in the rain. If we step out of the frame for a moment, all the stress of a commute for example becomes a beautiful ballet.

Each piece begins with a simple photo or video shot from my cell phone. I then paint the impression of these images with a very limited palette. As I apply the paint and interpret the captured image I attempt to tell a story in this two-dimensional space. Every brush stroke is layered to shape the scene, and every one of a thousand decisions that comprise every painting comes from the process of deciding what is the most important element to include.

As I’ve evolved as an artist I’ve been inspired by the great impressionists, Pissaro’s The Boulevard Montmartre At Night, for example, had a huge impact on me. More current impressionists like Leonid Afermov continue to inspire and instruct me in my journey.

Like the great impressionists, it is my goal to tell the most complex stories in the simplest possible way. By removing unnecessary detail, by emphasizing the most poignant aspects, I can convey the emotion of the moment and tell the story.

What is most exciting about my work is that the story I paint may not be the same story the viewer sees. The power of impressionism is it allows the viewer to insert themselves into the scene and allows their mind to begin filling in the details, in a way, it’s like a beautiful ‘choose your own adventure’ captured in a single image. That for me is the power of the work.

[catalog pdf]