About My Work

Business Card
The press release for my September 2010 exhibition “The Art of Travel” described my work for me:

“The Art of Travel is an exhibition of contemporary art inspired by travel. For Stewart Orr travel is a passion, a way of life – and work too, part of his profession as an artist. Stewart’s travelling serves a single purpose: he is always seeking ideas and images for his paintings. It is never an easy task. He does not sit before a landscape with a sketch pad. For Stewart art is not about a single captured image. It is practical experience distilled into images. For a single painting one must see many cities, peoples, landscapes, objects. One must be able to think back to journeys in exotic lands, to sleeping in unfamiliar places, to lying at anchor on foreign shores”.

I studied Graphic Design at Hull College of Art in the late sixties. I then worked in London as an Art Director for International Publishing Corporation for a decade before switching from publishing into advertising. I became Creative Director for a series of advertising agencies and finally ran my own agency in Soho Square. I have been a full-time artist since I moved to the Isle of Wight in 1994.

My home and studio are on the Isle of Wight. In the summer I live on a sailing boat in Greece.

I have travelled extensively within Europe, Africa, Asia, the Far East and the Americas. I have explored most of the coastline of Turkey from Antalya to Istanbul and virtually all of Greece and its islands under sail.

My paintings are about all of these places. I do not paint or sketch while I am away. I collect visual and colour reference instead – mainly in the form of thousands of photographs, but sometimes in the form of postcards, books, interesting ephemera: badges; toys; political propaganda – and, of course, countless memories - all of which I distil into my work when I return home.

I have exhibited several times at Quay Arts in the Isle of Wight and at The Barbican and East West Gallery in London.