Darja Štefančičis a painter born in Postojna, Slovenia. She is a seasoned artist who has acquired artistic skills from several art schools and within different artistic orientations.
She was researching about the art of painting for 25 years. During this time, she kept her work private, not exhibiting any of her pieces. After her first public appearance in 2007 she has been representing her artwork in various exhibitions in Slovenia and abroad, and has had a positive impact on people's lives.
- How did you discover your love of art?
- It came out of nowhere in my early childhood. I puzzled my relatives, so they say, by always drawing something, I took every piece of paper I could find around me to draw something.
My first visual memory comes from when I was about three or four, I see myself sitting at the kitchen table, bathing in winter sun, drawing red and yellow tulips with pointed petals and light green stems firmly set in rows on the lines of a notebook… Later it turned out that this early love will last forever.
- What does being an artist mean to you?
- It’s somewhat my way of living. For me art is an urgent counterweight to excessive rationalism. Its role is the one of awakening: opening ways for us to the realms of the intuitive and the primordial, where we can soar above our mental landscape, take a bath in mysterious waters, and then return refreshed and more sensitive. Through my art I feel like I get closer to understanding fundamental issues of human physical and spiritual existence.
- Where do you create?
- I mostly work in my studio and exclusively during the day. My approach, a kind of long lasting ritual, a sacred conversation between the progressing painting and me, demands solitude and peace. Daylight is important, because with it I can see the true, credible properties and values of colors. Light is intensely present in my creative work both in the actual and the symbolic sense. I value peace and silence while working, so there is no company of visitors or music in my studio during the process of painting.For an occasional change of this habit I sometimes though very rarely respond to a friendly invitation to organized art colonies.
- What is your daily routine when working?
- I do not practice any specific daily routine. Sometimes I am working nearly all day, another time I cannot touch the paintbrush. At such moments I prefer going out gardening or walking. The contact with nature revitalizes and refreshes my senses and perceptions.
- What do you like most about the job?
- For me, creating an artwork is more than a mental joy, its an ideal window for transition from the material, daily life into a parallel world which can give a better give sense to our lives.I translate this experience of transition into colours, rhythms, and compositions, and re-tell them back in reality.
I therefore lovingly dedicate as much time to a painting as it needs (usually several months on bigger formats), and I wish that the spectator, when viewing it, can possibly be infused by a new sensation or the one that has been suppressed in the depths of his/her sub-consciousness – the call for freedom.
- What does your art aim to say to your audience?
- The spectator, when standing in front of my painting is kindly invited to enter, search and add his/her own discoveries and interpretations. I deal in my works, consciously or subconsciously – I sometimes realize the latter case only from a time distance when after a spell of time I travel through my painting again – with certain questions: human’s emplacement in the universe, whether in harmony with or fight against nature and its forces, on both levels, in man’s individual existence and in a broader context. The message of my art is that there is never too much reflection on coexistence and respect within humanity.
- How has your art evolved over the years?
- After the youthful period of learning I early decided for oil technique and painted mostly motifs related to the details from nature using a balanced colour scale with darker hues and lighted accents. During the years of my artistic maturing I turned to purer colours and carefully selected and limited the set of symbols that are close to me and somehow explain me.
- Many artists speak of dreaded 'creative blocks', is this something you experience?
- Yes, very often. Especially the work on a large canvas includes in addition to the beneficial state of mind, also certain tensions. Solutions come up but cannot be currently realized on large canvasses because of my way of working. Besides I do not make preparatory sketches and studies. There are days or better periods that I am about painting little abstracts, which serve me as a sketchbook, a collection of studies and a relaxation when the feeling of satiation or disquiet emerges.
- Are you influenced by other artists?
- I strictly avoid conscious influence, though it is impossible to remain untouched, when you met, studied and admired so many. If you read the art critics that wrote about my art they allude to very different examples from the history which all I find admirable and am proud if they reflect in my artistic endeavours. Personally I feel particularly thankful to Mediterranean and Islamic art.
- What do you see in your future?
- As a mature person I am grateful to the circumstances that made my art visible to the wider audience, and will try my best to keep pace with it according to my best will and abilities until I can. At the moment I feel I still have something more to tell.
More artworks by Darja Štefančič