Aleta Rossi Steward
Aleta Rossi Steward is an artist whose work combines scientific knowledge and first hand observations with exquisite detailed techniques. A native New Yorker, Aleta began her professional career in California, where her work has been shown and sold in galleries all over the country. Although Aleta’s works focus on the natural world – specializing in birds, she is also known for her paintings of light filled flowers and fruit. The realism in her work is almost touchable; however, Aleta does not attempt to create a mere illustration. Her lively paintings of birds and animals go beyond most artists attempts of these subjects. There is a spark of life in her paintings – the tilt of a head, the ruffle of a feather, the graceful turning of leaves, or the natural interplay of light and shadow.
Aleta is the recipient of many awards. She has been included in over 43 national, regional and local shows during her 36 year career. Her work has been shown in the Wildlife Art Museum in Gloucester England; Hiram Blauvelt Wildlife Art Museum in Oradell NJ; the Bennington Center for the Arts in Bennington VT; the San Bernardino County Museum of Natural History CA; The Vermont Institute of Natural Science and the State Capitol building of Wyoming.
Her paintings have been reviewed in numerous publications and she has been a featured cover artist for regional, national and international distributed magazines. Her biography has been published for over 10 years in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who of American Women and Who’s Who in American Art. and she was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017 from these publications. Aleta was accepted into the Society of Animal Artists in 2005, Audubon Artists of America in 2014, where she quickly rose to the rank of Signature Artist, and in 2018 she was accepted into the Oil Painters of America.
Aleta’s art education is well rounded. She studied at the Art Students League in New York City under the Master Artist Frank Mason, who specialized in chiaroscuro portraiture and figurative works in the tradition of Rembrandt. She continued her studies with artist Paul Wood of Long Island, who concentrated on abstraction. Wood also focused on form, being a great fan of Edward Hopper, and Hopper’s masterful use of light. In the 1980’s, and she studied with artist Sophie Sheppard of California, who is known for stylized watercolor paintings of horses, rocks and other western subjects. Ms. Sheppard favored a flattened treatment of her subject matter, reminiscent of Japanese prints.
In 2008, Aleta purchased her own sailboat – a 25′ C&C sloop, and ever since she has sailed LITTLE WING to Nantucket where she spends most of the summers. She continues to attend the Opera Cup exhibit during Nantucket’s Race Week, plus, enjoys visiting other maritime venues like the Herreshoff Museum in Rhode Island and the Mystic Seaport Museum in Connecticut, specifically the Wooden Boat Show.
Never one to sit still for long, she continues to increase her knowledge and familiarity of her subjects through intensive birding classes and workshops from MA Audubon and the Linda Loring Foundation. Aleta completed the Massachusetts Audubon Society’s ornithological program, the “Birders Certificate Course”. It is a yearlong college level course of study, learning about everything from physiology of birds to the Linnean classification system, important birding habitats, and anatomy, flight and feathers. She received her certification in August 2010. She recently completed the course “Spring Field Ornithology” through Cornell University’s lab of Ornithology. During that time, she was fortunate enough to travel to northern Ohio, where one of the greatest concentrations of migrating warblers can be found along the southern shores of Lake Erie. Besides the warblers, she was also lucky enough to observe first hand nesting Woodcocks, Bald Eagles, assorted Herons, vireos, woodpeckers and a young Great Horned owl.
Aleta now lives and works in Brewster MA, and spends as much of the summer as possible in Nantucket on her boat.