2016 : Self Observation

Struggling to find value amongst the loss...

Moving had become a lifestyle for me, I have over thirty two address attached to my name. With each move, I would flow into a new city or return to a familiar place (I moved to Miami three times in nine years) and find my tribe. I credit that to be an artist and having the ability to find like minded creative souls within art communities. Moving to Cleveland was different. I had moved into my husband's shadow as well as his general likes and dislikes about Cleveland.

Within my new lifestyle, I found it hard to connect and ease into community. In certain echelons I had to wear a mask. I didn't feel appreciated by my stepchildren, my husband's friends were kind but not stimulating. The art community I did encounter was filtered through my husband's critical viewpoint. I felt regretful and deep loss. I had left an extremely supportive community in Los Angeles, one that I missed dearly as I tried to navigate my new surroundings.

Once again I delved into the creative process to examine my inner conflict with (Self) Worth. Trying new techniques fulfilled me. On the surface both the art and myself appeared confident, but in the community as well as in my home, I was full of doubt and disconnection. Through my art practice I was able to find balance, to be resilient and continue to shine what I knew to be true: that I am valuable regardless of external circumstance (education and status); my soul shines and comforts through my art. (Self) Worth has been my most well received body of work.

The pathway to minimal success was demanding. I had moments when I felt Cleveland had welcomed me. Unfortunately many of my leads did not amount to the recognition I knew to be possible. I observed many local artists expand their collector base and receive accolades for well executed commonplace compositions. I struggled to keep going but remained optimistic; which to a fault is my true nature.

Behind the scenes my mom's health was on rapid decline; primarily due to lack of access to quality health care and as a result she was being over prescribed pain medication.

All my self promotions and my creative momentum was loss when my mom died. Healing Mother, my only three dimensional work, serves a dual meaning of caring for "mother" earth and my actual mom, whom suffered a lot. This piece was my introduction to building up surfaces, and moving forward I incorporated this technique in my work. Probably to match the secret wall I had built up around myself. After our mom passed, another loss occurred: due to my brother's violent behavior and greed, I had to completely alienate myself and my son from him. An act that went against my moral code and has jaded me.

Collection of Tina Stefanski

(Self) Worth 2.16.1

acrylic on birch panel 18 x 24 in. • Private Collection - Cleveland, OH •

Gemini painting

(Self) Worth 3.16.2

acrylic on birch panel 20 x 30 in. • Private Collection - Los Angeles •

Warped Wrinkle in Time

(Self) Worth 8.16.1

acrylic on birch panel 20 x 30 in. • Private Collection •

Hawaiian Surreal Painting

(Self) Worth 3.16.1

acrylic on birch panel 20 x 30 in.

Rose Garden

(Self) Worth 3.16.1- texture detail

acrylic on birch panel 20 x 30 in. (detail)

Abstract Detail of a painting

(Self) Worth 3.16.1 - detail

acrylic on birch wood panel 20 x 30 in. (detail)

Homage to Cubism and Farming

Farmer's Daughter

acrylic on birch 20 x 16 in.

My Heritage Is Rooted in Farming

Farmer's Daughter - detail

acrylic on birch 20 x 16 in. (detail)

My New Old Chair

Healing Mother - back view

mixed media on wood 37.5 x 18.5 x 19 in.

nonfunctional chair art

Healing Mother - front view

mixed media on wood 37.5 x 18.5 x 19 in.