Biography & Artistic Statement

Steven & Cheryl Ward Print

Our art business began in the suburbs of Chicago in 2000 when Steve decided to start painting and Cheryl said we should try selling some of these. Fifteen years and 500 art fairs later, we now live in St Augustine FL and have a summer studio in Algonquin IL. Our three children that were living with us in Dundee IL when we started now live in Phoenix AZ, Denver CO and Ft Worth TX. We sold our Dundee home in 2014 and replaced it with a townhome in Algonquin IL which we use June- September. In 2012 we purchased an industrial space in St Augustine that is our primary work location October- May.

We continue to do 30+ art festivals/year and have a vision of slowing down at some point but have not yet. We got our kids through college in the last ten years and now we work for our own future retirement which is still out there. We have done many shows now for 10 years or more, but each year we try to do 2-3 new shows we have never tried in cities or places we have never been. Most shows will have the two of us with the paintings and the prairie grass art next to each other, but every year there are a few shows where just one of us is invited to participate. Every show we do is juried and invitation only, we apply to roughly 100 shows/year, get invited to 50 and attend 30.

Color, geometry and motion are the driving elements in my paintings. I paint a wide variety of subjects including florals, landscapes, seascapes, abstracts and more. All my work is done with acrylic on canvas using palette knife. I've had no formal art training other than a couple of art electives while getting a business degree at the University of Illinois. My father was an architect and I grew up around drawing, sketching, design and composition from his work. I have always loved art, it just never occurred to me that you could make a living with it.

Cheryl is an English major to round out the non-art background, but she was and still is the driving force that makes this a business. I developed the prairie grass art and she jumped right in from day one. Cheryl and I each paint reeds by the hundreds.Once the reeds are assembled into a piece of art, Cheryl touches them upand frames them. We collect the reeds each fall near our home in Algonquin IL. Thank you for your interest and support.