BETHESDA, MARYLAND

Contemporary Abstract Artist

BIO, Artist STATEMENT, CV, and Process

BIO

Stefanie Stark is know for her abstract floral paintings as well as intuitive abstract paintings. She also dabbles in collage. Inspired by nature and in particular, the beauty and fragility of flowers, Stefanie expresses herself through layers of acrylic paint on canvas and loose, gestural oil pastel or pencil marks. Purposeful drips elevate Stefanie’s work beyond typical floral paintings and add dimension as well as emotion. “Something about the flow of each drip feels right and even necessary to me,” she says. “Each drip is like a release of feelings, similar to a tear, whether of joy or sorrow. Both stream down, forging a unique yet anticipated path.” 


Growing up in Washington, D.C., Stefanie was surrounded by art at home and in museums. By age nine she announced she wanted to be an artist. Her work has been exhibited in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Her paintings have earned awards and are part of private collections throughout the United States and abroad. 


Stefanie now lives in Bethesda, Maryland with her husband and two children and  works from a home studio. 

 

ARTIST STATEMENT

I grew up with a mother who continuously filled our home with fresh flowers. She cut stems, chose the perfect vessel, and placed the blooms just so. I watched, learned and helped. 


My mother and her flowers taught me about beauty. Perhaps it’s no surprise that flowers of all shapes, sizes and colors inspire me.  Abstract petals and blooms often find a way into my paintings even when I try not to paint them. While I also paint abstract works without flowers, it is through my painted petals that I feel a connection with my late mother, who died before I began to paint.  


All of nature reminds me of the fragility of life and the bigger awe-inspiring world around us. In flowers, we see the full lifespan in a short time. Wonder, amazement, love, loss, pain, hope and even transcendent connection move from within me to my artwork. 


I use brushes, sponges, paper towels and sometimes my fingers when I paint.  Intuitively combining different colors, I love watching them merge and blend on the canvas before me.  Each brushstroke or mark informs my next step.  Oil pastel and pencil marks and scribbles add dimension and interest, as do various textures and thicknesses of paint.  These elements help convey a sense of movement, flow and emotion.  I hope my paintings draw viewers in and hold them at least for a moment in which they slow down and hopefully respond to what they see.




(Pictured right, Variegated Bouquet, 40 x 30 inches, acrylic on canvas)

ARTIST CV

EXHIBITIONS

2019 The Workroom Gallery, “Color Forward,” by invitation, Washington, DC


2019  Washington Caucus of Art, “Melody of Art,” juried exhibition, Bethesda, MD


2019 SR/A La Collection Gallery,  “February Showcase” by invitation,  Bethesda, MD


2019  Insustrious, solo exhibition, Betheda, MD


2018  SR/A La Collection Gallery,  “Art x Arts” by invitation,  Bethesda, MD


2018   The Cooley Gallery, “Female Perspectives”  juried exhibition, Leesburg, VA


2018  Montgomery Art Association, “Paint the Town Labor Day Show,” Kensington, MD


2018   Maryland Federation of Art’s Curve Gallery, online open-juried, exhibition, “Stormy Weather” 


2018   Montgomery Art Association Member Show, “Creative Expressions” Chevy Chase, MD


2018  Art Impact International, “Golden” juried show,  Washington, DC


2018  SR/A La Collection Gallery,  “Real Art on a Shoestring” by invitation,  Bethesda, MD


2018  Target Gallery,  “March150” Alexandria, VA


2017  Sheridan School, “Spring Art Show”  Washington, DC


AWARDS AND RECOGNITION


Second Place, Montgomery Art Association,

 “Creative Expressions,” 2018


Honorable Mention, Art-Competition.net, 

“Flowers, Plants & Gardens,” 2018 


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Featured Artist, Thalia  Magazine, 

The Ritual Issue, 2018



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Works held in private collections throughout the United States and abroad. 



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Member,  Judging Panel

St. Andrew's Episcopal School Art Show, 2019


Member,  Judging Panel

Spring Valley Student Art Exhibition, 2019



MEMBERSHIPS

Maryland Federation of Art


Montgomery Art Association


Thrive Studio’s Thrive Mastermind


Women’s Caucus for Art, Washington, DC Chapter

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

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This painting, Jacob's Red (30 x 40 inches, acrylic and oil pastel on canvas) 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

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I had two paintings in this group show.  

Devine Spring (30 x 40 inches, acrylic on canvas)  

won second place in the abstract category. 

CREATIVE PROCESS

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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!


 Pictured left, detail of Wildflower Dreams, 40 x 30 inches, acrylic and pencil on canvas.

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Color

Color and color combinations are fundamental to my work. Surrounding us in every setting, color itself is  a  source of inspiration for me. I am constantly taking note (and  photos) of colors and color palettes  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. 


Pictured right, detail of Water Garden, 48 x 36 inches, acrylic on canvas.

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Nature

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


Pictured left, detail of Strong Beautiful Pink, 24 x 30 inches, acrylic on canvas.


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