Drawing with colored pencils or playing with clay on a TV tray watching ‘The Banana Splits’ and Saturday morning cartoons started a life long creative process for Paul Stankiewicz. Narrowly escaping a lifetime of hard labor on the assembly line at Ford Motor Plant in his native Ohio, Paul received a scholarship and enrolled in The Columbus College of Art and Design, graduating in 1980.
A successful commercial artist, Paul spent 20 years in advertising design, video graphic production, 3-D animation, and as art director for a leading video game company. After becoming a dad and surviving a stroke, Paul decided to leave the gaming industry and develop his talents as a painter.
Paul creates a broad range of images that reflects his varied interests and versatility as an artist. Large canvases that are sanded down and washed, and layered cut wood panels that are animated with the crank of a handle. Sometimes inspiration comes from childhood memories or a song on the radio, and most often from his photos, old and new: sideshow banners, old wooden toys, urban nature, and iconic Austin scenes.
Not quite literal replicas, Paul’s paintings weave together layers of color and texture to create an impression of his subjects. His designs typically begin at the computer; images manipulated, layered . . . reality rearranged. The paint creates an image that is vivid and recognizable and sometimes has the illusion of a photo-like image, but up close the work is distinctly abstract. “I try to resist the temptations of smaller detail brushes. I want the viewer to complete the picture as they want, in their mind.”
Every piece is an experiment. “I wish I could say that my process started with exhaustive research and in-depth studies, but usually I am so anxious to get started I dive right in. I look forward to the learning that is about to take place as each new work reveals itself.”