Have you ever communicated without words? Perhaps it could be those miniscule changes to an expression, or perhaps that inexplicable chemistry and connection shared with someone else. Artist Stanka Kordic invites you to join the conversation.
For artist Stanka Kordic, painting has evolved into a method for capturing “a deeply embedded serenity that we all simply have, but rarely access,” she says. “My inspiration for a number of years have revolved around women, children, and their thoughts. I say thoughts, because I realize now that what intrigues me most is that elusive piece that draws me to people that carry an enigmatic air about them; a quiet that is visceral.”

Stanka Kordic, “Truth and Knowledge,” 2015, oil on aluminum, 12 x 12 in. (c) Stanka Kordic 2016

To capture these elusive characteristics, Kordic begins by spending several hours with her models, shooting hundreds of photos with different spaces, gestures, and light. It’s during her review of the photos that the painting first speaks to the artist. “I zero in on many that seem interesting, whether because of pose, lighting, mood, reasons why often change. I then decide upon the surface and format, and begin the usual way … draft in the portrait or figure and move from there.”

Stanka Kordic, “Fluid,” 2016, oil on birch, 24 x 24 in. (c) Stanka Kordic 2016

Stanka Kordic, “Hummingbird,” 2015, oil on birch, 12 x 12 in. (c) Stanka Kordic 2016

Kordic’s recollection of her creation of “Alchemy” — a gorgeous three-quarter-length portrait of the young woman “Leila” — encapsulates beautifully this creative process. She writes, “I began ‘Alchemy’ because I liked the expression Leila had, and her body language. I decided to use birch as the substrate because of the rough absorbency of the surface. However, I neglected to lightly sand the surface prior and dove in prematurely. Even after a second layer it was rougher than usual, and I was beginning to struggle with it. Then it hit me that this needed to be a part of the resolution; that I needed to apply the paint in such a way that complemented the dry quality of the wood. I used different tools, more knife work, fingers, brayers. It became a slow grow of tactile layers. She was originally photographed in the woods, but it began to move in a different direction. I followed that initial trigger rather than trying to control the outcome to resemble something I created in my head, or saw that day with the camera. As the piece came closer to fruition, more and more solutions became obvious, and the struggle ended. It became clear that ‘Alchemy’ was created.”

Stanka Kordic, “Leila and the Wren,” 2016, oil on panel, 20 x 16 in. (c) Stanka Kordic 2016

Stanka Kordic, “The Sky Below Us,” 2016, oil on birch, 8 x 8 in. (c) Stanka Kordic 2016

For Kordic, her artistic goals are simple, humble, and without loft. She writes, “I want the figure to look semi-accurately drawn. To have a strong composition, decent color, and be pleasant to look at. I do believe that art should exist in an environment in order to bring the viewer to a place of rest, perhaps wonderment. Maybe there will be a narrative that is revealed, a dialogue that may come up. I don’t decide any of this ahead of time. I truly sit myself down with those rudimentary basics and watch what happens each day. It’s always a surprise.”

To learn more, visit Stanka Kordic.
This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.


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