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Stewart wins for wildlife art

By By Lydia Grimes
Clarence Stewart has been painting and drawing since he was a child — and he hopes one day to be able to rely on his talent solely for his income.
Stewart won first place in the wildlife category in the 2010 Energen Art Competition, which took place in Birmingham April 11.
Stewart’s painting, which is titled “Raccoon Clowns,” was the winner of the $3,000 Alagasco Wildlife Award in the Engeren 2010 Art Competition. Energen, a diversified energy company, announced the winners of the 11th annual art competition, The Wonders of Alabama Art, which celebrates Alabama artists.
The awards were presented at a reception in Birmingham on April 11. The judge was Donny Finley of Birmingham who is an elected signature member of the American Watercolor Society. There were 391 entries in the competition from a total of 223 artists, and 203 works were selected for the final round of judging and exhibition. All of the works were featured in an exhibition at the Energen Plaza in Birmingham.
Stewart grew up in this area and attended local schools. He attended Jefferson Davis Junior College (now Jefferson Davis Community College) and was employed with St. Regis Paper Company for a short time as a graphics artist.
He worked for several years as a General Motors dealership parts manager. He has been employed for 17 years at Herrington’s Forestry Supply on U.S. 29 north of Brewton. He paints in his spare time and said he would love to someday be able to paint on a full-time basis. He does portraits and illustrations, but he said he really likes the wildlife.
Stewart is no stranger to awards and accolades. He won the 2005 Alabama Waterfowl Stamp Art Contest with his painting of a canvasback duck. The painting was featured on the 2006-2007 Alabama Waterfowl Stamp. He also won the 2009 Alabama Waterfowl Stamp Art Contest with his painting of a northern pintail drake. It will be featured on the 2010-2011 Alabama Waterfowl Stamp.
According to his biography, in the mid-1980s and early 1990s, Stewart worked as a commercial artist and illustrator for several book publishers, the Baptist Sunday School Board Scripture Press Publishing, Victor Books, Augsburg’s Fortress Publishing and the United Methodist Publishing Company. He said that his greatest influence was Norman Rockwell, but he has been greatly influenced by wildlife artists, Robert Bateman and Carl Brender.
Stewart, and his wife, Bonnie, have three children, four grandchildren, “and one on the way.”