Born in San Bernardino, California in 1940. Moved to the Los Angeles area(Glendale, CA) a year later. Developed interest in drawing at an early age and began art training at the age of twelve.
Studied with the Famous Artist's Schools in 1956; Private study with various artists at his parents studio (1952-1959); received a scholarship to Chouinard Art Institute in 1958; and later attended the Art Center School in Los Angeles, CA.
Teachers and artists who influenced him were Robert Irwin and Bob Winquist. Private study with Paul Souza and Mario DeFerrante.
He had a 25 year career as a Scenic and Portrait Artist for the entertainment industry with projects for television, motion picture and stage productions. He did portraits of Bette Davis, Henry Winkler, Brian Keith, James Brolin and others for various film and tv productions. He also did special art projects for Disney Studios, Disneyland, Disney World, Epcot and Animal Kingdom.
He is a Signature Member of the National Watercolor Society (1976 - ), past member of The Los Angeles Art Association and a past member of the California Art Club. (1993 - 2006). Currently a member of "The Artist's Gathering" in Redding, CA (2010 - ). Red Bluff Art Association.
Exhibits include Gallery Gianni (La Cienega district) (1962), Jackie Rosenberg Gallery (1966), Lakeland College, Lakeland, Ohio (1977); Horizon Show, NYC, (1986); Carnegie Museum CAC show, (1994); Morseburg Gallery, LA, CA, (1994); Malaga Cove Library, Palos Verdes, CA (2001); Ferndale Repertoire Theater Gallery (2002); Red Bluff Art Gallery, various group and individual shows, 2008-2011; 5 Windows Gallery "Predominately Landscapes" 1 man show, April 2010; Three person show with Jane Belden and Bill Marlowe - August 2012; special showing of assemblage pieces at The Red Bluff Art Gallery, Nov. 2010. Two person show with Jane Belden at The Highland Art Center - August 2011; Various show participation with The North Valley Art League - 2012. Inclusion in The California Watercolor Gallery collection in Fallbrook California. Exhibiting and teaching at the O Street Gallery in Redding, CA (2014 -2015).
Murals: Glendale YMCA (1957) - Haliburton Restaurant (1958) - Canter's Restaurant (1959) - Joseph P. Bean estate, La Canada, CA (1962) Hilton Hotels (Reno, NV, 1985) - Epcot (1984) - Epcot (1996)
Books: â€śWatercolor â€“ Paintings by Contemporary Artists? Chronicle Books (2013). â€śA Sketchbookâ€ť the Drawings of John N. Stewart (2008). â€śAqueousâ€ť â€“ The Watercolors of John Norman Stewart (2011). â€śThe Artistâ€™s Blue Bookâ€ť, Dunbier, (2005). â€śLandscapesâ€ť Gerald Brommer (1977). â€śBright Orbitsâ€ť (Lynch, 1974) illustrations.
Prominent collectors have included President Richard Nixon, actor John Wayne and film director Leo Penn.
John has always had a simultaneous life in music, playing piano since the age of seven. He is virtually self taught and has played various music venues since the early 1960's and has written scores of songs. He has five cd's available on iTunes, Amazon and others that are mostly improvisational in nature. His musical non-de-plume is J. Norman Stewart.
Listings: Who's Who in the Entertainment Industry (1988) - Who's Who in California (1989)- Personalities in The West (1989-) - Five Thousand Personalities of The World (3rd Edition)(1990) - Who's Who in America (Special Supplement) (1993) â€“ Whoâ€™s Who in America (2003 â€“ 2011). Artist's Bluebook (2005) - AskArt.com - (2000 - present)