“People have always said that my pieces feel alive which is exactly how I experience them.” - the artist
Q: What led you to become an abstract artist?
A: I spent so many years in art classes drawing true to life that when I came back to my art as an outlet close to 10 years ago I really wanted to not be confined and to discover new things with materials I had never worked with. My father was a chemist and I think I developed a curiosity for mixing things and experimenting. It fascinates me! I remember wanting to paint like blown glass…I wanted to see if I could come close to that and so I went to the art store and just started throwing anything liquid I could find in the basket! I’m attaching one of the resin works that was commissioned from that series back in 2009-ish. I guess I am obsessed with the not knowing and trying to command the uncontrollable and still find the balance in each piece…an abstract flow just fits me
Q: Where have you studied and how long have you been an artist?
A: Truthfully I have been an artist since I was a child. When I was young I was always moved into the “gifted” art class or sometimes the “gifted” table in my art classes. I remember my high school art teacher had me at the gifted table but she didn’t really like me much…I think I was the black sheep of the gifted. LOL! I was awarded a scholarship to the ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO for college but in my family art was not considered a reasonable job it was considered more of a hobby so I went to EKU instead and minored in art and majored in psychology. I thought about Art therapy and tried Graphic design as well but I just didn’t want to stay between the lines. After moving to Los Angeles for acting-which I did for many years- I studied drawing and encaustics at OTIS intermittently. I am finally now at 48 dedicating myself to my art and it feels like I am finally coming home to myself.
Q: Where do you derive your inspiration from?
A: Oh inspiration comes from so many things…nature, other artists, a song, a book or a poem! At the moment, I am OBSESSED with Paul Jenkins!!!! But here is the truth. I am now just 5 months in remission from stage 3 ovarian cancer and it wasn’t until I got sick that I gave myself permission to stop working and just concentrate on healing. And part of my healing was really listening to my soul and coming back to my art and painting again. I am convinced it has been medicine for me. Paintings just kept pouring out of me in between my chemotherapy treatments. I couldn’t stop. And I still cannot. It took that wake up call for me to listen to what truly inspires me. Nature…life…it’s all art to me and I am so grateful every day I get to spend in my studio. I could cry right now just talking about it.
Q: Describe your creative progress for our readers.
A: Do you mean process or progress? Both are good!:)
Q: Yikes! I meant process, but go ahead and answer in your own way.
A: Painting for me –when I am having a good day is like meditation and communion. I start with a feeling…which leads me to the colors. Right now I am using pigmented alcohol inks and a heat gun. I just commit myself to the dichotomy of commanding a flow and also to letting go. I want the pieces to have their own identity but they also need to work as a balanced piece of work not just happy accidents…it’s got to be somewhere in the middle of command and a flow. I hope that makes sense! Paintings talk to me…many many times I don’t listen well enough but that makes the ones I do hear just magical…and we work together. I hope that doesn’t sound too mystical. In terms of progress, I started in resin back in 2008 and then moved into encaustic painting with beeswax, damar resin and a blow torch which I LOVE! When I got sick I needed something a little less labor intensive so I discovered the pigmented inks and I fell in love with that. I am just now completing a 30 day mini painting series which has completely changed me as an artist…and Next I will be working larger again and I’m thinking of incorporating acrylics and my encaustics with the inks.
Q: What do you hope for viewers to take away from your art?
A: I like to paint beautiful things and by beautiful I don’t necessarily mean “pretty”. Some of my pieces are dark and I find that beautiful as well. I fall in love with my pieces and I guess that is what I hope people who look at my work take away…a bit of beauty…a moment of communion and a moment of feeling good or moved in some way. There is nothing better than having someone come to look at one of my pieces and then REALLY looking and leaning in to see more of the details and the moments beneath the first layers. Nothing better than that!
Q: How do you view your art career in five years?
A: Well, I just put in a bid for a storefront space in LA to be my new studio and gallery space so my dream is for that to come into fruition. It’s a space I see myself painting large again in and having shows not only for myself but for other artists I love. In five years, I want to continue collaborating with amazing people on commissions for their homes or businesses and to be inspiring other artists to take the chance on their dreams. And when my art managers and the consultants come to visit my studio, I hope to be covered in paint and laughing with joy.
About the artist:
Stacy is an abstract painter most interested in deviating from structure and experimenting with mediums she has never used.
Raised in Louisville Ky. Stacy has been drawing and painting since she was a child. Trained as a fine artist working mostly in pencil, watercolor, charcoal and oils she earned a scholarship to the Art Institute of Chicago right out of high school but chose instead to follow a more accepted "job" and minor in art at EKU while pursuing a degree in Psychology hoping to become an art therapist. When that didn't seem to fit, she then tried her hand at graphic design...always looking for a way to fit herself into some mold that would allow her to paint and make money. This path veered when she fell into acting and eventually moved out to Venice California to pursue an acting career.
After many years in CA working in television and film Stacy felt the longing for her art. She took a few classes at OTIS and then serendipitously had a painters art studio fall into her lap. From the moment she started painting again-thinking this was just for her- she had opportunities knock. After a few group shows Stacy's studio was featured on the VENICE ART WALK for 3 years selling many pieces and landing an art consultant who sells her work out of Scottsdale Arizona. Her work is displayed in the homes of many private clients here in LA and she has private commissioned paintings in restaurants in Scottsdale Arizona, Tampa Florida, Austin TX and San Diego CA.
For her, entering her studio is a time of letting go: of expectations, of structure, of rules, and of her own ideas about what's possible and what's not...in life and art.
To view more from the artist, follow her on Instagram @stacysolodkin.
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