Signature member of the Institut des Arts Figuratifs -IAF (2008)
Elected member of the Canadian Society of Marine Artists - CSMA (2008)
Stefan Starenkyj, IAF, CSMA, immigrated to Canada in 1951 when he was 5 years old arriving at Pier 21 in Halifax.
At an age when one only thinks of playing ball, Stefan Starenkyj prefered his pencils and paper. He could be found busily sketching for hours. This led his teachers to encourage him to study architecture. After graduating with honors, he obtained his Bachelor of Architecture degree from McGill University in 1969 and he practiced in the Quebec area, the French Antilles and in the Eastern Townships.
During those years Stefan Starenkyj found time for painting and drawing and prepared a series of pen and ink drawings describing Bellechasse, a picturesque region of the Province of Québec. These drawings were published under the title Bellechasse en blanc et noir. Consequently Stefan Starenkyj was invited to present these works in solo exhibits, notably at La Place Royale in Old Quebec City in the autumn of 1977. Many of his drawings are now part of private collections in England, France, New York and Canada.
Through the years his realistic style has evolved into an expression of great intensity. A simple barn, worn and battered by time, a silent landscape, boats at rest, an old house, a still life have become a message of perseverance and lasting serenity.
He has also become fascinated by the sea and by the marine environment: fishing vessels, ships, boats, yachts, sea ports, sea shores...Lately, the apocalyptic plastic pollution so prévalent in the oceans has moved him to produce a series of paintings to stir the public mind under the title : Marine Reflections ... and if there were no more sea ?...
When he is asked what he likes most in art, Stefan Starenkyj replies:
“...to express in diverse ways the perception of things. Creativity can flourish and be satisfying through many forms and become a means of expression of our noble faculties. I try to combine what I believe are the best of two schools – the high quality of drawing and rendering in representational realistic art with the interpretive freedom and composition we find in abstract art. I like to insist: In all that you say, in all that you do, in all that you imagine, create a work of art.”
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