learned to paint by painting - discovering inadequacies and constantly
improving my techniques and color image.
That which intrigues has always inspired my dedication. For decades I’ve
sought excellence in many media and diverse bodies of work. When
repetition has brought boredom I’ve moved on to challenge my mind and
abilities with something new.
Although my works have been part of many group and one-man shows and
acknowledged with top awards since 1967 - it’s always been about the
individual works themselves that turns me on.
Started in 1990, the Rock and Water series has held my interest and
respect through its difficulty and the breadth of its possibilities.
For about the first eight years of the series I worked in a style I
referred to as Magic Realism. Lines of pure color would add strength to
the light and dimension from a distance and would blend into the realism
up close. I also used very intense color within elements to see how far
I could bend reality and still make them believable. ”And Now Light
Dances” and “Autumns Fall” are the only examples of these works in this
In 1998 the paintings became more realistic - My palette of color was
pared down from as many as twenty-five to as few as five. This
resourceful use of color challenged me as a painter and the dimensional
aspect of my work began to dominate.
My latest works are composed on the “X” with a priority status of 1.
Design 2. Dimension 3. Picture. In short, this means that if the realism
of the picture interferes with the design or the dimension of a
particular image, it will sublimate and no longer be realistic (i.e., a
shadow will be wrong, a reflection on the surface of the water won’t be
present, etc.) but all attempts to make this image appear real will be
I want these works to hang in any rotation as a complete image. A view
straight down will maintain its realistic character in any aspect – it’s
only logical. However, at times, the dynamics of a thoughtful
composition will make these images change dramatically when rotated.
To take a view away from ones feet and create a perspective or a more
traditional view of life that hangs in every rotation takes more thought
and design. The use of texture, light, color, shapes and individual
characteristics of each element now play a part in how the viewer’s eye
is led through the painting in each rotation and it is the sum of all
rotations that creates the picture.
(This isn’t always easy to explain – it may take time for someone to see
past the original images and view the new rotation as a completed work.
A painting doesn’t have to be a picture and fine art doesn’t have to be
easily understood – it simply is what it is!) l,
I work on many canvases at once. Because these paintings are created and
not just copied, some take years to resolve. And because of this not all
of the work I’ve just completed conforms to current motivations, but I’m
still proud to have my name in the corner.”
Stephen M. Stavast