ONTARIO, Canada — Can Art turn into Beauty and Beauty into Art? Andrea Stajan-Ferkul is a Canadian, Toronto-based, artist and illustrator who is always inspired by beauty in her artistic work. She is especially interested in the stories behind the beauty of women. As she states: “Exploring the essential beauty of women is not to focus solely on the aesthetic. Beauty is a reflection of one’s inner self – it’s not seen but radiated from within.”
Andrea Stajan-Ferkul learned about illustration and graphic design working for many years in the fashion advertising industry. Soon after, she decided to focus her work on the world of fine art experimenting with loose renderings, textures and mixed media. Today, Andrea is above all known for her captivating (dress) paintings, expression of the fusion between style and elegance, spontaneity and representation, the sensual expression of colours mixed with fine design and details.
About who and what inspires her life and work, Andrea talks about divine femininity: “To wear something beautiful empowers a woman; it radiates confidence and brings out the best in her,” says Andrea.
… I draw inspiration from the strength and femininity of women and their roles in today’s society.
“Individuals reflect their personality, mood and style by what they wear, which can affect their emotional state. I draw on sources from visual elements that stimulate me; fashion, colour, design, photography, pattern and texture. I am also inspired by other artists,” explains Andrea.
The importance of beauty
Andrea highlights the importance of beauty in her work. The best inspirational quote that resonates with her is one by Kate Angell: “Outer beauty attracts, but inner beauty captivates.”
“When beauty is found in imperfection, it affects you spiritually,” Andrea explains.
To absorb the essence of my work, it’s important to look beyond the beauty and embrace the complexity and uniqueness of a personality – the strength, sensuality and spirit of being a woman. I try to convey the beauty inherent within us all.
Andrea continues: “My finished paintings reside somewhere between reality and interpretation. To create a powerful aesthetic, the dresses in my paintings appear to be perfect; upon a closer look there are many imperfections, some more obvious than others. Beauty in imperfection hits me in the heart.”
Andrea’s paintings represent the powerful aesthetics of painting which connected with the narrative, realistic details very well. As she highlights: “I start with an idea, but it is intuition that drives me in my work, with the finished piece residing somewhere between reality and interpretation. It’s an extension of what I have built up in my experiences. My work should confront the viewer with feelings.”
Fashion behind the art
A great number of Andrea’s paintings are inspired by fashion perfectly combining style and elegance as a sublime extension of the spirit of a woman.
Andrea emphasises that fashion is about having a personal style, one that works for each one of us (aesthetically & emotionally), reflecting our personality. “It’s a way of re-creating yourself everyday, depending on your mood,” Andrea adds. “Fashion is an extension of the spirit of a woman. My dress paintings put emphasis on bringing the emotional and intuitive elements of the theme to the piece. I explore perceptions of style and elegance as a whole and their role in contemporary life.”
For Andre, fashion means a simple life: “Fashion is art. Art is beauty. Beauty is a life’s expression.”
Colour harmony and contrast
Andrea is extremely stimulated by colour and colour harmony even though her palette is often monochromatic. “Colour can often be my starting point, my inspiration – it just gets translated into black, white and neutrals,” says Andrea. “I love everything about tone on tone – the richness, the layering and depth it creates. I love the subtlety of tone on tone, and appreciate the power of neutral colour.”
Andrea tends to mix various shades of neutral: “… It’s the subtleness of tone changes that I’m after.” She equally loves the contrast between neutrals and black as many of her paintings show. What is also so unique in her work is the incorporation of fabric and lace in her pairings to create 3 dimensional effects inviting the viewers to take a closer look. “Is it painted or is it real… often it’s both,” Andrea tells with a smile.
Andrea’s future plans include building relationships with clients, interior designers and galleries. She will continue to focus on painting, experimenting and developing her style in ways that keep her fulfilled: “… Sometimes there’s a nuance of an era gone by but it could equally work as a contemporary,” concludes Andrea while reminding us all that her motto in life and work is to “stay true to yourself and do what makes you happy and do it on your own terms.”