Michael A. Stasko was born in Chicago Heights, Illinois on October 30, 1948. He lived there until joining the U.S. Navy in 1969. Stasko 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, Stasko moved to Portland, Oregon where he has enjoyed a successful career in the Information Technology industry. His vision is to segue into a full time career as a professional artist after retirement from IT.
Stasko has a formal 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.
In "The Sunset Series" Stasko explores 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 a 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.
Stasko uses Prismacolor colored pencils because they are thick and soft, lay down evenly and provide good saturation of color. His rendering is done on 4 ply 100% rag Strathmore museum board which stands up to repeated working. Images are created using standard colored pencil techniques such as overlaying to create new and vibrate hues, construction of dark values, variations in pencil pressure, and in some cases, impressed line technique. Blenders or solvents are not used and he does not burnish his work. Stasko's technique is as much subtractive as it is additive. A kneaded eraser is used to lift pigment from the paper to expose lighter areas and to create and define contour.
Stasko'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.
Please visit my website to learn more about my art and passions.
Michael A. Stasko lives in Portland, Oregon and is a member of the Colored Pencil Society of America.