Sopa Fine Arts - Kelowna art gallery

Stephen Shellenberger - statement

Stephen ShellenbergerI create with the understanding that each piece has a life of its own. I try not to get in the way of that. Once a piece of canvas has been found, selected, or, most likely, is accidentally lying next to the overall ensemble, it is. That is, the overall piece finds its way, and individual pieces appear at the perfect moment. In this way, I facilitate and allow the paintings to emerge. It is almost as if each piece has its own creative mind and selects the smaller pieces which will make up the whole.
I am constantly at war fighting the urge to choose pretty ones that belong together. I don't want to pre-plan or calculate the end result. Only the overall heart of the painting can do that. I try to approach the sewing in the same way. Spontaneous stitches are made with the same objective. Let the feelings, the emotions, of the large picture dictate how I stitch it together.

I believe that art should challenge our sense, and I often feel the most attachment to what others may view as not particularly pretty. I aim to embrace the imperfections as they unfold during the creating of each piece. I like to incorporate anything I can get my hands on while constructing the art. Children's crayons, household detergents, black tar, dirt, anything and everything that comes in my path while I am in the process, belongs in it. It is all perfect and unique to the individual creation of each piece.

I am fascinated with stitches. They remind me of how beautiful and ugly a deep cut can be when sewn together. I personally had many stitches (mostly in my face). The bruising and discolouration gradually fades, the swelling goes down, and when the stitches are removed, you see the tiny holes where they were. Beauty in the grotesque. Stitching also represents repair; no matter how bad or ugly it is in the beginning, we have an amazing ability to heal.

If the art of painting is dead, as some people believe, then maybe this is my way of trying to repair it.

Stephen Shellenberger

Curriculum Vitae

Art Work