Mike Stasko was born in Chicago Heights, Illinois on October 30, 1948. He lived there until joining the U.S. Navy in 1969. He was stationed in California where he remained until 1975 when he moved to Eugene, Oregon. After earning an undergraduate degree in computer science at the University of Oregon, Mike moved to Portland, where he has enjoyed a successful career in the Information Technology industry.
Since retiring, he has settled into a fulltime career as an artist. He has a fine arts background with emphasis on drawing, and intaglio and serigraphy printmaking techniques. His renderings are done using various media including graphite, pastel, and charcoal. As a colored pencil artist, he is completely self-taught. He began exhibiting at Portland's Art in the Pearl in 2010. He is a member of the Colored Pencil Society of America.
His recent body of work includes "The Sunset Series,” exploring the changing effect of light over distance, particularly at sunset. He works from photographs taken in Central Oregon. Most are of locales recognizable to those who travel or fish on the Deschutes River, which adds to their appeal. Stasko uses a photograph as the basis for an image but does not strictly adhere to the natural colors of the landscape. What feels right and creates a mood is of more importance to him.
Mike uses Prismacolor pencils because they are thick and soft, lay down evenly and provide good saturation of color. His rendering is done on four-ply 100% rag Strathmore museum board, which stands up to repeated working. He uses standard colored pencil techniques such as overlaying to create new and vibrant hues, layered dark values, variations in pencil pressure, and in some cases, impressed line technique. He uses no blenders or solvents, and he does not burnish his work. He does use a kneaded eraser to lift pigment from the paper, exposing lighter areas and creating and defining contour.
Mike’s use of soft pigments, applied lightly to the textured surface of the museum board, creates a unique depth and luminosity that must be seen to be appreciated.
To learn more about Mike, you can visit Sisters Gallery & Frame shop to learn about him and see his work. He will be in the gallery on June 28 for the 4th Friday Art Stroll.
Driving Directions to my Home Studio at
70107 Sorrell Drive, Sisters, OR 97759:
• From Highway 20 go north on N. Locust St., which becomes Camp Polk Rd., which becomes Wilt Rd.
• Turn right on Buffalo Dr., then right on Sorrel Dr..
• The house and studio are on the right.