It’s difficult to accurately describe the connection that mothers, daughters, and sisters share in words, so artist Ardith Starostka uses brush and paint.
So much more than beautiful female figures within interior and exterior spaces, the magnificent paintings by nationally known artist Ardith Starostka have a deep personal significance that injects the pieces with character, vitality, and emotion. For Starostka, the creative process begins when “visions manifest themselves based upon the music I listen to, past dreams I’ve had, poems, and personal relationships,” she says. With that idea in mind, Starostka uses photography to experiment with various poses, props, lighting, models, and more until she’s satisfied with the piece’s direction. She adds, “It’s rare that I only use one photograph to paint from because there are subtle differences in several photos that I may find that would make the piece better. I often digitally piece together a composite photo for a painting before creating a quick color study if time allows.”
Ardith Starostka, “Little Bird,” oil, 30 x 20 in. (c) Ardith Starostka 2016
Surveying Starostka’s oeuvre, one immediately notices the predominance of female subjects and sitters, which is a telling feature that alludes to the deep connection the artist shares with specific individuals. Starostka writes, “Most of my creative visions involve the female figure because of relationships with my two sisters and two daughters. I also love painting the figure because it’s so expressive and can relay emotions and dreams that I have experienced myself as a woman.”
Ardith Starostka, “Picked Pears,” oil, 30 x 20 in. (c) Ardith Starostka 2016
Starostka’s exceptional painting “Wallflower” seems to touch on every concept or idea the artist seeks to communicate. “It’s probably my favorite painting that I have created thus far,” she says. “The idea for this painting is based on conversations that I had with my youngest daughter, Haley, throughout her teen years. She had the typical teen angst and feelings of wanting to be accepted by her peers. She felt like she was invisible at times and felt insecure about her appearance. The statement of her feeling invisible conjured up an image of her blending into her environment —almost going unnoticed. Haley was maturing into a beautiful young woman and I wanted to represent that also in the painting. I wanted to give a more contemporary feel with a touch of surrealism to the piece — the surrealistic depiction of the flowers coming to life from the static floral wallpaper pattern behind the figure and the dress being lost in the young girl’s surroundings.”
Ardith Starostka, “Remembering Ophelia,” oil, 32 x 32 in. (c) Ardith Starostka 2016
Starostka’s journey to notoriety has naturally had its ups and downs, but particularly difficult for the artist was not having the support of her parents to pursue an artistic career. Ever persistent and passionate, Starostka prevailed and now ranks among the top representational painters in the United States. Perhaps this has informed part of her primary goals in art. Starostka writes, “My goals have been about producing paintings that please my audience. However, I find that my goals have been changing. I want to produce art that I find pleasing and not worry as much about what everyone else thinks. I’m interested in further developing my own voice.
Ardith Starostka, “Three Wishes,” oil, 27 x 20 in. (c) Ardith Starostka 2016
“I want to convert my many visions into reality and let go of the idea of always having a painting be perfect. There is no such thing as ‘perfect’ and I am only causing myself grief by trying to chase perfection. I want to get more creative with my art and experiment with different mediums and ideas. By experimenting more, I believe that I will overcome some self-created barriers and grow as an artist. I don’t know where myself and my art will be in the years to come, but as long as I am painting I will be happy. I paint, therefore, I am.”
To learn more, visit Ardith Starostka.
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