About Contemporary Painter Stefanie Stark

Bio

As a child, Stefanie had a fill-in-the-blank book called "My Book About Me."  It asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, and she selected "artist" from a list of umpteen career options.  However, after finishing school, Stefanie pursued careers in social work and then journalism.  

It wasn't until 2017 that Stefanie focused seriously on painting, something she had long wanted to do.  Since then, Stefanie has become an award-winning and international-selling artist who has exhibited in art shows in Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia.  

Artist Statement


Throughout my childhood, I watched my mother arrange a constant flow of fresh flowers she displayed in our home.  Perhaps it’s no surprise then that the beauty of flowers captivates and inspires me.  It took time before I realized that I feel a connection to my late mother, who died before I began painting, through the creation of abstract flowers in my work.  When painting them, I’ve come to feel that she is with me in spirit. 


Using acrylic paint allows me to add layer upon layer to a canvas in a single sitting, creating texture, depth and dimension. Colors merge on my canvas, blending and complementing or contrasting, as if part of a symphony.  Intuitive gestural strokes applied with sponges, brushes, paper towels and my fingers convey movement, emotion and calm.  Purposeful drips made from fluid paint suggest a release and a natural flow.  Perhaps they are drops of rain, or tears of joy and/or sorrow.  Whether painting flowers or working more abstractly, emotion transfers from within me to my artwork. 


Relationships and people are most important to me, and when I paint, I sometimes  find myself thinking of colors as beings with relationships of their own. I begin by looking at my paints. Who will mix well today? Who has something to say? Who wants to play? At some point during the creative process, a painting begins to take on a life of its own and dictates what it needs. I often get lost in this creative flow to the point that I forget to eat lunch or ignore my children’s impending bedtimes because the painting needs more and my hands, heart and thoughts are with it. 


My hope is that viewers look at my paintings and get lost in a visual world both challenging and harmonious that ultimately radiate emotion and love.


Life

Stefanie grew up in Washington, DC and now lives just north of the city in Bethesda, MD. She lives with her husband and two children and  works from a home studio. Sadie, the family dog, often keeps Stefanie company while she paints.

Awards and recognition

HONORABLE MENTION in Art-Competition.net's international juried Flowers Plants & Gardens 2018

I'm excited that one of my paintings, Jacob's Red, was honored with Honorable Mention recognition in an Art-Competition.net online competition. You can view the "winner's showcase" via this link:

http://art-competition.net/ContestWinners.cfm?contestname=Flowers_Plants_and_Gardens_2018

SECOND PLACE in Montgomery Art Association's Creative Expressions Show in Chevy Chase, MD

I had two paintings in this show, and am happy that "Devine Spring"  won second place in the abstract category. This is the first art award I've earned.  I don't mind the phrase "award winning artist" after my name!

STEFANIE'S CREATIVE PROCESS

Color

Color and color combinations are fundamental to my work and a constant source of inspiration for me. Color surrounds us in every setting, and I often notice and take photos of color combinations that strike me.  When beginning a painting, I usually have a color or two in mind I know I want to work with.  The rest flows from there. In the painting to the left, I began with black and chose the other colors for a striking contrast.

Gestural Strokes & Drips

I work best when I'm loose and able to let the paint, brushes and sponges do the talking.  Sometimes, I even close my eyes when making marks and strokes to allow this freedom and magic to happen.  My style ranges from structured and geometric to free flowing, but one element seems to appear in every work I create - drips! 

Nature

Flowers are particularly important to me and my work.  I am touched by their beauty and delicacy, which sometimes takes my breath away.  I also marvel at the life stages of flowers and plants,  even finding beauty as they wilt and decompose.  Natural elements like sunshine, wind, water and clouds also influence me, especially when I blend colors and shapes on the canvas.

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