Tuesday, March 3, 2015

New Works in Progress and Show Preview

Here is a preview of new pieces in the works.  I am still "warming up" so to speak and the most time I've put into any of these is 3 sessions.

These are for a drawing show at the Bridge Gallery in Shepherdstown, WV.  The show opens at the end of March.

In Morning Light, 2 in. x 2 in.,
silverpoint and tempera on prepared surface 

Addy in the Garden, 8 in. x 10 in.,
Silverpoint and tempera on prepared surface

A Prayer at Midnight, 8 in. x 10 in., charcoal

After Prud'hon, Silverpoint and Tempera

This last piece is actually from over a year ago but I thought I would post it here as an example of another silverpoint.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

California Adventure and New Work!

Hello friends!  I haven't posted in quite some time but will be blogging again regularly.  A lot has happened since the last entry!

This past year was spent getting ready to sell my home and studio in Walkersville, Maryland.  Happily it sold on November 6 and my things were moved into storage.

I had been planning on attending graduate school and this is still a goal of mine in the near future.  But a better prospect presented itself and school is on the back burner for now.

I decided instead to pursue my own work full time for several years in California.  So after a wonderful holiday with my family in Maryland, I packed my car with limited studio supplies and drove across country. When spring arrives I'll return for the rest and set up a larger studio!

The drive took about 2 weeks and included numerous visits with friends and family across the U.S.

The weather is amazing here and I'm loving the beach, the richly colored sunsets, and meeting new people.

Since arriving in Los Angeles on February 1, I've been back in the studio working on quick warm up studies in oil.  It's been a while and these exercises will build into longer projects with broader scope.

I will be producing several drawings for a March show back east at the Bridge Gallery in Shepherdstown, WV.  Otherwise the focus is on building inventory for several west coast galleries.

Here are some new pieces in the works.  All of these are images from the cross-country trip.  Some are completed sketches, while others are in progress.  I'm thoroughly enjoying experimentation with different limited palettes including Zorn's.  Other's employ the primaries in varying key.  Another palette uses earth tones all in the warm spectrum.  The point for me is simplification.  I don't like complicated and as we've all heard a million times, "less is more"!  The paintings below are also studies in stark monochrome with pops of color.  Others are more color rich!

Snow in Muleshoe, TX oil on paper WIP
Snow study. Oil on panel.

Sunset, Clovis, NM. Oil on panel

 Detail of a Work in Progress. Oil on paper
Sunset, Sausalito. Oil on panel

Also, here is an update on the Bird Chopstick project.  Thus far 4 protoypes have been made in sterling and ebony.  The chopstick rest is nearly done as well and will be cast in silver-plated bronze.  Here are several old versions.  The ones in the below photos have been completely redesigned.  I will post more on those soon!

Version 1

Version 1

Version 1

Monday, May 27, 2013

Gavin Gardner One-Man Exhibition at Artique Underground Gallery, May 10 - June 28

I will be having a one-man exhibition at Artique Underground Gallery from May 10-June 28.  The opening Reception will be on June 1st from 3:30-5:30.  The show includes new and old works, and features both my sculptures and paintings.  Nearly 45 works will be on view.

The opening reception coincides with the Frederick Festival of the Arts, a FREE two-day festival along Carrol Creek which features over 100 artists and vendors.  Please visit www.frederickartscouncil.org for more information.

You may also wish to have dinner in Frederick after attending the opening.  Artique Underground Gallery is located at 228 North Market Street, Frederick, MD 21701.  The gallery is underneath nationally known Volt Restaurant.  Their menu may be viewed at www.voltrestaurant.com.

For more information about the exhibit or for gallery hours, please visit the gallery's website at www.artiqueunderground.com     The invitation is below.  I hope to see you there!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Artist Interview with Steven DaLuz

I am honored and excited to have the privilege of hosting an interview with Steven DaLuz.  His work inspires me greatly with its ordered abstractions, its sense of inner light, and its mystery.  

Without further delay here is the interview!  To view more examples of his work, please visit www.stevendaluz.com

DaLuz at work on Cloud Bank

Gavin:  Could you describe your earliest moments as an artist?

I suppose my earliest were abstract crayon masterpieces upon my mother's walls.  She was not impressed.  Later, during parent teacher conferences at the elementary school, the teacher described her dismay at my constant drawings all over assignments.  My mother was not impressed.  By 5th grade, my father was called in to retrieve me from the principal's office for my imaginative female nude drawing during class.  After apologizing to the principal, while walking to the car to go home, my father patted my back and uttered, "I"m impressed.  Just don't do those during class anymore."  The principal never did return that drawing. 

Title:  Birth of an Obelisk
Medium:  Oil, Metal Leaf on Panel
Size:  36" x 36"
Copyright 2008 by Steven DaLuz, All Rights Reserved

Please describe your style and methods.
Well, my philosophy is that I refuse to be placed in a box.  I am probably best known for landscape-referential abstractions, though I also have an endless fascination with the figure.  The common thread that runs through both bodies of work is my desire to conjure up a sense of mystery and ethereal light.  In the works that I describe as "Neo-Luminism", I suppose my style can be compared to the 19th Century "Luminists", with some "Romanticism" lumped in as well.  

I developed a process using composition gold leaf, copper leaf, chemically-induced patinas, oil and other mixed media.  As light passes through the glazes of oil, it bounces off the underlying metal leaf, creating a glow that appears to come from within the painting.  At first glance, the paintings look normal.  The light bouncing off the figures, piercing the hazy atmosphere, and appearing as  cloud formations are actually gold leaf or copper leaf peeking through the paint.  The imagery for those works is manufactured in my imagination.  I used models for the figurative work; working from a combination of live drawings, sketches and photo reference.  The backgrounds are usually imagined spaces.

Title:  Blue Haze 
Medium:  Oil, Metal Leaf on Panel
Size:  36" x 36"
Copyright 2007 by Steven DaLuz, All Rights Reserved

Gavin:  People love to know what materials an artist favors.  What paints, brushes, supports, and mediums do you prefer?  Please email a photo of your brushes and palette for people’s interest.

Steven:  When I work in oils, I typically use metal leaf selectively in the substrate.  I prefer to work on hardboard panel, cradled with poplar.  I prepare the panel with 2 coats of PVA (which is somewhat like a synthetic rabbit skin glue); 3 coats of gesso, and 2 diluted coats of red oxide acrylic (usually).  I use Rollco sizing , and Nazionale composition gold leaf...though I also use copper leaf and 23K gold leaf.  I use a secret chemical concoction to induced patinas, a sealant, and then I can begin painting with oils.  It typically takes about a week to prepare my surfaces. I have used many different mediums, but honestly, I prefer Liquin for most of the work I do in this manner.  Concerning paints, I typically use the 150ml tubes made by Gamblin, though I am not a purist.  I use Rembrandt for certain colors, and a variety of other hand made paints.  I have a large assortment of brushes in most sizes...mostly flats and filberts.  I typically do not use rounds at all.  I also like to work with encaustic (beeswax, resin, and pigment) from time to time...and I still love drawing and works on paper as well.
Encaustic Pallete

Gavin: What has been most challenging for you as an artist?

Steven: At this stage, knowing when to say, "no".  I have difficulty painting fast enough to supply my galleries with work.  Reconciling that requirement, with my own need to produce good work is my most difficult challenge.
Title:  Ovum 2 
Medium:  Oil, Metal Leaf on Panel
Size:  36" x 36"
Copyright 2009 by Steven DaLuz, All Rights Reserved
Gavin:  What interests you most (in terms of subject and theme) as an artist and why?

Steven: Honestly, I just love to draw and paint.  I would do it if I never made a dime.  However, I suppose I am most interested in imagery that evokes a "feeling" within the viewer--whether figurative or non-objective.  Even if the viewer connects for only a brief moment.  While I like intellectual stimulation in a work, I am more concerned with sparking the imagination.  I aim for this usually with properties of ethereal light, elements of mystery, and the sublime.  Entwining images of light, serenity, and calm against darkness, tumult, and chaos is what I like best.  It presents a kind of metaphor for life's journey.   Lately, I think spirituality has crept into my work.  Not religious, per se, but a kind of subconscious "yearning".  I don't fight it. For me, the pure beauty and power of art need not explain anything.  At its best, the raw image alone can be enough to pose questions and ignite the viewer's imagination.

Title:  Gateway 2 
Medium:  Oil, Metal Leaf on Panel
Size:  48" x 60"
Copyright 2010 by Steven DaLuz, All Rights Reserved

Gavin: Who has been the greatest support to you as an artist and how?

Steven: My wife, hands down.  She bears with me, through my mood swings, self-doubt, and overwhelming compulsion to create.  She tells me the truth, even when I don't like to hear it. She has been by my side thru the tough times, and has always believed in me, even when I didn't.
Title:  Germination 
Medium:  Oil, Metal Leaf on Panel
Size:  36" x 36"
Copyright 2010 by Steven DaLuz, All Rights Reserved

Gavin:  Please tell us about your influences.  

Steven: All of the artists throughout history that I know about have probably influenced me in some way, because their images are implanted in my brain.  Truly, there are so many, I would do an injustice by trying to list them.  I would like to think most of my work comes from many solitary hours alone in my studio experimenting and working out visual problems...the urge to say "self-taught" would be an arrogant supposition, because whatever I have done is because I have stood on the shoulders of countless "giants" who have gone before me.  Okay, probably Turner chief among them.
Title:  Chasm 
Medium:  Oil, Metal Leaf on Panel
Size:  36" x 36"
Copyright 2011 by Steven DaLuz, All Rights Reserved

Gavin: Why do you make art?  Why is it important?  Why Painting?

Steven: I can't NOT make art.  It is as essential as eating to me.  After giving birth to some new piece, I take some measure of satisfaction knowing someone will derive enough enjoyment from it to take it into their home and live with it.  Painting gives me the greatest outlet for my urge to create.  It offers the most challenge and sense of accomplishment when an idea comes to fruition.  Through painting I get to draw, to compose, to play with color, temperatures, texture, light, dark, create illusions, and solve all manner of visual "problems" while entering a kind of peaceful place.   Painting offers that opportunity to take colorful glops of oil and pigment, slosh it around in such a way to create the illusion of a 3-dimensional world on a 2-dimensional space.  There's something intoxicating about the smell of oil paint as I enter my studio...my sanctuary.
Title:  Mythos
Medium:  Oil, Metal Leaf on Panel
Size:  48" x 64"
Copyright 2012 by Steven DaLuz, All Rights Reserved

Gavin: What words of wisdom would you offer to young artists?

Steven: Avoid the fruitless exercise of comparing yourself to other artists--it is a waste of time.  Instead, look at the work you are making today, and compare it against the work you are doing next month...next year.  Are you growing?  You have a unique voice.  Find it and use it.  There is no substitute for time in the studio, working. The more you exercise your creative "muscles", the more they will develop. Do not wait for "inspiration" to come.  Sketch, draw, read,listen to music.   Look at LOTS of art "in the flesh"--not just online imagery. Don't be too hard on yourself.  For every decent piece I have made, I did 10 that are "turkeys".  Be persistent and learn from those--they are part of your journey.  Whatever you lack in knowledge, go out and get it!  So long as you are alive, understand that there is no "expiration date" for artists.  You can create at ANY age, throughout the course of your life.  
Title:  Odyssey (After Bierstadt) 
Medium:  Oil, Metal Leaf on Panel
Size:  48" x 48"
Copyright 2009 by Steven DaLuz, All Rights Reserved

Gavin:   Would you mind sharing something interesting about yourself that most people wouldn't know?

Steven:  Even though I am not a licensed pilot, I once flew the F-16 fighter jet in Korea. It was the thrill of a lifetime.
Title:  Opus 110 
Medium:  Oil, Metal Leaf on Panel
Size:  48" x 48"
Copyright 2009 by Steven DaLuz, All Rights Reserved

Gavin: If you were conducting this interview what one question would you ask yourself and what would the answer be? 

Steven: "Does it bother you when someone does not like your work?"   When I was younger, I admit that it stung to hear someone say they did not care for my work.  It was like the viewer was rejecting ME.  When we create a piece of art, we often become so invested in its creation, that we leave a part of ourselves in the work itself.  So, it feels like someone calling our child inadequate or ugly.  Then, one day while still an art student (in my early 40's, I might add), I had an abstract work on display at an art fair.  I stood away from the work at sufficient distance that I could be like a fly on the wall, hearing what passersby would say about the work without them being aware of my presence.  A couple of men stopped and looked at the art for a moment.  Then one said to the other, "Man, I could have done that while drunk!"  About 20 minutes later a couple of women stopped and looked at the same piece.  Then one exclaimed, "Oh my, someday that's going to be in a museum."  I learned a valuable lesson that day.  First, the viewers did not know me.  They were able to react to the work on its own merit, apart from the one who created it.  The same piece was able to elicit completely different reactions.  Most importantly, I realized that not everyone will "connect" with our work.  I have come to accept that and be at peace with that reality.  In the end, you must create work that YOU are passionate about, without regard to how someone else may or may not respond to it.
Title:  Source
Medium:  Oil, Metal Leaf on Panel
Size:  36" x 36"
Copyright 2009 by Steven DaLuz, All Rights Reserved

Gavin:  Much of your work seems to draw heavily on religion and spirituality.  Here I refer to the watchers and your obelisks.  Could you tell us about this facet of your work? 

Steven:  This is a question that would take me much longer than I could answer completely in this forum, but I'll try to touch upon it.  "Watchers" and the obelisks (part of my "Emanations" exhibition), were just 2 series of work I have done out of many.  Truth is, I suppose I am not a religious person, in the "organized religion" sense of the word.  This does not mean I am not spiritual, or that I do not think about matters that go beyond our understanding of this physical realm.  Even the work I create now has some unconscious, spiritual component to it.  The longer I live, the more I have come to believe that everything in the universe is connected. I can barely begin to fathom the great depths of the mysteries the cosmos offers, yet we are a part of it. I believe we are more than this physical "shell" that is our corporeal body.  The "obelisks" were my way of expressing light and energy becoming matter in the form of a singularity.  This idea of a "one-ness" between humankind and the universe has become something of a fascination for me.  I do not try to supply any "answers" to life's big questions with my work...I simply try to visually express some of my thoughts and feelings to hopefully spark the imaginations of others.  I think there is a kind of "yearning" that we have, as humans, to know that we are not alone in this vast plane of existence.  I try to pull the veil back just a little to reveal just a glimpse of something that COULD be.  But, that is the beauty of art.  It has the potential to make our spirits soar.

Title:  Untitled 4 (After Turner)
Medium:  Oil, Metal Leaf on Panel
Size:  48" x 60"
Copyright 2010 by Steven DaLuz, All Rights Reserved

Gavin: Your work focuses heavily on void, abstraction, vaporous forms, and light. Could you tell us about your interest in this and your synthesizing of this abstraction with literal figurative form?

Steven:  I think I may have answered some of this in the previous questionbut I'll try to address that more specifically.  First, I am equally interested in abstraction and figuration, so I do not fight it.  It is simply how my brain is wired.  Most of my "abstractions", are only partially abstract, in that they refer to something real or that could be real.  I like to create the "idea" of a place, whether steeped in reference to landscape, or to celestial forms.  As I paint these, I am transported to another realm in my mind.  Because they are entirely from my imagination, I just allude to the notion of some environment that may allow the viewer to bring up a memory of someplace they have been, or would like to be.  They have a vague recollection, but the place is not literal.  The ethereal properties of light suggest a source that can be otherworldly.  Light has the ability to reveal...and the capacity to blind. Is it the sun?  Is it from within?  Is it beyond?  I leave that for the viewer to decide.  If everything is in complete focus, I have just created an illustration that declares everything the viewer needs to know.  I hope to engage the viewer more. By creating voids and vaporous depictions, I increase the likelihood the viewer will complete the picture for themselves.  In synthesizing the figure into some of these works, I engage my passion for painting the figure...but, I also believe that because we are humans, we relate to the figure.  If I disguise features, or obscure identity, I allow the form to become more universal.  In doing this, I hope the viewer can relate to the figure and imagine themselves in such a setting.
Title:  Red Obelisk
Medium:  Oil, Metal Leaf on Panel
Size:  48" x 48"
Copyright 2010 by Steven DaLuz

Gavin: You are working with different materials and processes than most artists. It also seems certain techniques are your invention. Could you give us some insight into your unique materials and methods?

Steven:  It's true, I absolutely LOVE experimentation with multiple materials and processes. But MANY artists do!  I am endlessly fascinated by the ways an image can be created or a feeling expressed by the incorporation of different materials.  I can remember a time as a young child walking through a park and seeing the fantastic patinas on the bronze statues.  In an effort to obtain this elusive property in my own work, I set out to capture the color and texture in my paintings about 7 or 8 years ago.  Through months of experimentation, and many failures, I began to notice different properties of the materials than for what I was originally striving.  I began using metal leaf in the underlying layers of my paintings.  On the metal leaf, I selectively apply a chemical preparation to rapidly create patinas of color on the metal.  After that is sealed, I begin painting in glazes of oil.  I leave some of the metal leaf exposed, and some is painted over, revealing some if it though the layers of paint.  As light passes thru the veils of paint, it bounces off the metal and reflects light back in a way that is more intense than simply oil paint on its own.  I am certainly not the first artist to use metal leaf--it has been used since the early Flemish painters.  Even today, artists such as Brad Kunkle and Pam Hawkes use metal leaf in their work.  I use it in a different manner, but, I think they also exploit the material to wonderful effect.  Someday, I will produce a video that outlines the specifics of my process.
Title:  Window
Medium:  Oil, Metal Leaf on Panel
Size:  36"  x 36"
Copyright 2012 by Steven DaLuz

Monday, January 14, 2013

Artist Interview with Stanka Kordic

This month I have the pleasure of sharing an interview with painter, Stanka Kordic.  Kordic's work resonates with me on a deep level.  She balances representation with abstraction in a style that creates an ethereal glimpse into the spirit of innocence.  Her work embodies wonderment.

Her work "Boundless" received a Gold Medal of Honor in Painting at the Allied Artists of America 99th Annual Juried  National Exhibition  in New York City. Kordic has also been named an "artist to watch" by  Southwest Art Magazine.

Here is a brief biography which I have copied from her website www.alternativeportraiture.com:

"Stanka Kordic’s collectors would say her work affects them on many levels. Her paintings speak for themselves, never nostalgic replications of by-gone days, but truly contemporary examples of Modern Art rendered with the skill and passion of the Master’s traditions. They provide lasting pleasure, as one is always delighted to find a previously undiscovered passage with each new glance.

Stanka Kordic is a first generation American born of Croatian parents.  She followed her talented brothers, Vladimir and Branko into the World of Art. Stanka graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1985.  From there, she traveled Europe, taking in as much art as humanly possible - searching for her voice as a painter.  She returned to work as an illustrator for several years.  Her projects included editorial art, package design, and book illustration.  In pursuit of artistic freedom, she left the commercial world in 1988 to establish a fine art studio, concentrating her efforts on painting the landscape and figure.  This led to local recognition, awards, and inclusion in several corporate collections throughout the midwest, including Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, and Key Corp.

Inspired by people, she turned to the field of commissioned portraiture in 1998 to become successful employing the philosophy of making the portrait a great painting by transcending likeness, hence the name Alternative Portraiture.
Her extensive client list spans the US, crossing the ocean to England and Croatia.  

Stanka continues to work from life and her own source materials as she studies the figure in many different environments, integrating elements of abstraction with realism."

Without any further adieu, here is the interview along with images of her works!  Thank you Stanka!

Stanka Kordic at work in her studio.

Gavin Could you describe your earliest memories as an artist?

Stanka:  My earliest memories of an artist where of keeping a sketchbook. In it was some drawing of life around me, but most often it was people and story lines I made up. I also loved my Etch-A-Sketch. In fact, when I was hospitalized for a week at age 5, that was the only thing I wanted with me.

Boundless, 30x36, 2012

Gavin:  Could you tell me about your education and training?

Stanka:  I have a BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art. I've also taken numerous workshops from a variety of people. Started painting in oil at age 15. 

Lift the Veil, 20x30

Gavin:  Please describe your style and methods.

Stanka:  My style and methods are not simple to describe, but here's the nutshell. Overall representational, with a twist. I like to keep the figure fairly realistic in handling as the focal point/entry into the piece, and then allow the marks to determine how the painting will evolve. I rarely follow a strict plan of action. A loose idea is my only start, with the placement of the figure determined. The rest becomes quite an intuitive journey, working indirectly in multiple layers of paint over a long length of time. My reference are my own photos of real people as models, the environment is also a real place, but will often change as the painting changes.

Portrait of Nehemiah, 15x20

Gavin:   People love to know what materials an artist favors.  What paints, brushes, supports, and mediums do you prefer? 

Stanka:  I use oil primed lead on linen, mounted on gator board. (New Traditions) I like the rigid surface, and because I work in so many layers, it is structurally and archivally more sound than stretched linen. Paints: no real preference. Gamblin, WN the usual brand. My brushes are a mess. Whatever is on sale in bristle or mongoose, sometimes a synthetic for softer passages. I also use wide, 2-3" bristle gesso brushes for my big strokes, often a roller, a spatula, palette knife..fingers..Whatever it takes. Not terribly fussy with my materials aside from the panels. Mediums: M.Graham Walnut Oil in alkyd, or more recently, Oleogel from Natural PIgments.

An assortment of Kordic's brushes

Gavin  What has been most challenging for you as an artist?

Stanka:  Most challenging for me as an artist is the fluctuations of the market. Making a living doing this has always been difficult, even though I knew that signing up. It gets hard dealing with the worry of it all. Each year I get better at tuning those thoughts out, and trusting the process and the path I've been given, and chose to follow.

Kordic's Palette

Gavin The art world is changing dramatically and we are seeing a return to representational art.  Would you comment on the direction we are headed and make a prediction for what the art world will look like in 15-25 years?

Stanka:  The direction of the art world is getting interesting. When I left the scene to raise a family and focus on portraiture in 1998, not much was happening in the representational art market. The recent shift has been amazing to witness. 

Not sure I can predict, but I can tell you what I'd LIKE to see
..a greater focus on thought, hand in hand with excellent craftsmanship. Period. How that end result is achieved should not matter if you are a practicing professional. Seeing the work as a stand alone entity, rather than focusing on the gender, age, or education of the artist. Individual voices stepping forward, rather than getting in line with all that is currently trendy. I want to see some joyful work, rather than all the focus on how hard it is. Yes, the discipline of it all is a given in working representationally. It just is. No need to glorify it.

Within Reach, 40x50, 2011

Gavin:    What interests you most (in terms of subject and theme) as an artist and why?

Stanka:  In terms of subject matter, I feel committed to this path of integrating the figure with the environment, and honoring the voice of the paint. I will most likely stick to using women and children as well. Children have often been dismissed as overly sentimental, and women are often objectified. I try to describe them in a more powerful way. 

As far as paint..there is something about looking at my materials, knowing the limitations and the possibilities, then seeing what happens as I use them. I like NOT being in charge of the whole process. That's where the joy, the courage comes in. It's a rush diving in and screaming as I fling a color on the face I never used before, or wiping another section off that I just spent 8 hours working on. For me, the actual imagery of what I make is often secondary to the materials. Yes, the figure is an important portal to catch the viewer's attention. Then the piece softens, and becomes theirs. I don't want to provide all the information in the first reading. It's the viewer's journey, as much as mine. 

I'm pretty much done with straight up figurative painting (working from life) which I still do fairly often. It's good exercise, but limiting to what I want to do within a piece.

Visionaries, 36x48

Gavin  Who has been the greatest support to you as an artist and how?

Stanka:  My husband has been my greatest support. He simply gets it, and is committed to making sure I continue, even when times get challenging for our family. He's never condescending.  I'll always be grateful for that. 
Path Takes Hold, 40x50, 2011

Gavin Please tell us about your influences.

Stanka:  My influences are the usual suspects in the painting world. John Singer Sargent, Rembrandt, Cassatt, Degas, all the Wyeths. Sorolla. Too many. I look at Diebenkorn, Picasso, Frida Kahlo as well.

Rise, 30x20, 2012

Gavin:    Why do you make art?  Why is it Important?  Why painting?

Stanka:  I view art making as a vocation, rather than an occupation. It really is a path for me. If I'm doing it well, then something gets triggered in the viewer, a change, a new way of seeing the world, perhaps. A new way of seeing themselves. 

At the risk of being over the top..I see all art as another form of healing. It can (I believe) over time, elevate one's experience of life. This is why I've never felt compelled to do work that reminds others of what's wrong out there. We need to feel better about our place, not worse. 

Why painting? Not sure. I started at age 15 with oils and that was it!

Release, 23x20, 2012

Gavin:   What words of wisdom would you offer to young artists?

Stanka:  Words of wisdom for young artists.. walk into the world of art eyes wide open. It is not an easy life, but there is nothing more fulfilling. Arm yourself with all kinds of education, from the fundamentals of art making to the basics of business. Study with many different teachers, and listen to your own voice when it makes itself known. You are your own best advocate. Never be shy about standing up for your work. If you don't believe in what you are doing, no one else will. Go forward with faith.

She Followed the Bird Path, 20x30, 2012

Gavin:   Please share something interesting about yourself that most people wouldn’t know.

Stanka:  I practice a lot of yoga and it's principles are key in my work. I'm also an occasional professional wedding photographer. 

Thank you again, Stanka!  To learn more about her work and to see images, please visit her website at www.alternativeportraiture.com