Aleta Rossi Steward is an artist whose work combines scientific knowledge & first hand observations with exquisitely detailed techniques. A native New Yorker, Aleta began her professional career in California, and has shown & sold her work in galleries all over the country. Aleta's work focuses on the natural world specializing in birds, but 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. Aleta's 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- it is obvious a lifetime of knowledge is the foundation of her creations.
Aleta is the recipient of many awards. She has been included in over 43 International, national, regional & local shows during her 37 year career. Her work has been shown in the Wildlife in Art Museum in Gloucester England, Hiram Blauvelt Wildlife Art Museum in Oradell NJ, and the Bennington Center for the Arts in Bennington VT, as well as the San Bernardino County Museum of Natural History CA, The Vermont Institute of Natural Science & the State Capitol building of Wyoming. Her work has been featured and reviewed in numerous publications & has been a featured cover artist for regional, national & internationally 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. She was awarded a lifetime acheivement 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" & Oil Painters of America, newly joined in 2018 .
Aleta's studies in the field of art have been well rounded . She studied at the Art Students League in New York City under the Master Artist Frank Mason, who specialized in chiaroscuro portraiture & figurative works in the tradition of Rembrandt. She continued her studies with artist Paul Wood of Long Island, who concentrated on abstraction. He also focused on form, being a great fan of Edward Hopper, and Hopper's masterful use of light . In the 1980's, she studied with artist Sophie Sheppard of California, who is known for stylized watercolor paintings of horses, rocks & other western subjects. Ms. Sheppard favored a flattened treatment of her subject matter, reminiscent of Japanese prints.
Aleta was also influenced by artists Jessie Arms Botke who painted beautiful exotic birds during the 1930's, and John Clymer, the famous painter of not only wildlife, but also historically accurate scenes from western history. Aleta was fortunate enough to see Clymer's actual studio displayed at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Never one to sit still for long, she continues to increase her knowledge and familiarity of her subjects through intensive birding classes & workshops from MA Audubon & the Linda Loring Foundation. Aleta completed the Massachusetts Audubon Society's ornithological program, the "Birders Certificate Course". It is a year long 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.
Aleta also 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 on Nantucket aboard her sailboat “Little Wing”