StacieStacie Hernandez (Mexican-American), b. Wichita, Kansas. I obtained my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Drawing and Painting from the University of Oklahoma. There I studied with painter George Bogart and sculptor Timothy J. Segar. I then moved to Brooklyn, NY to continue my studies at Pratt Art Institute under Ross Neher, receiving my Master of Fine Arts degree. While at Pratt I had the privilege of meeting Master Painter George McNeil whom made a profound effect on my life as a painter.

In 1991, I founded The Art School for the Visual Arts, located in Bergen County NJ, providing fine art instruction to students from the surrounding counties. After moving to Florida, I established Palencia Fine Arts Academy & Gallery in St. Augustine, FL and am currently the director/owner/artist in residence.

I knew early in my youth that painting and drawing is what I wanted to do and my primary medium would be oil. Heavily influenced by both the Modern Art movements’ abstract expressionism and a rich and vibrant Mexican-American cultural childhood experience. This would inspire me to experiment with new ways of processing ideas and concepts regarding the nature of materials and functions of art.

My abstract thought was encouraged by artist, mentor and friend George McNeil (1908-1995) with whom discussions about the current art movement was shared over tea on many occasions. McNeil and I exchanged our thoughts and techniques in his Brooklyn studio and home, one block away from my brownstone. McNeil encouraged me to experiment with one of the key signatures of modernism which was to have an emotionally wrought brushstroke. It’s the unencumbered expression of modern anxiety that at the time was at the core of almost all of my work and still is present today.

Beside McNeil I have also been influenced by Anselm Keifer, Eric Fischl, David Salle, Mary Boone, Julian Schnabel, Lee Krasner, Helen Frankenthaler, Georgia O’Keeffe, Picasso, Red Grooms, Jackson Pollock, De Kooning, Roberta Smith, and Turner, to name a few!

The Lyrical Abstraction pieces start by drawing directly onto the canvas with a thin layer of paint. The compositional process is a laboring process of adding and taking away paint as I develop the subject. Painting quickly and intuitively, reacting to forms on the canvas, and allowing their meaning to reveal itself to me. In every painting I create I’m looking for some kind of revelation, something I didn’t see before.

I strive for efficiency in brushstroke, observing form, space, movement and color. Informed by a range of emotional states, points of time, and positions in my surrounding landscape, the work is an affirmation that people experience music, landscapes, emotions and memories in a complex interconnected way. I strive to make this evident in the tension and balance between figure and ground, between paint and surface, and between one or more colors. The work synthesizes a multitude of contrasting concepts and forms: light and dark, warm and cool, space and density, growth and decay, gravity and lightness. Calligraphic arabesque lines float on a background of washed colors, and up close they reveal their obsessive – compulsive nature. Each line was painstakingly etched into the background.

What appears as fluid, elegant lines of varying width, turn out to be painful acts of discipline and concentration. I never cease to deepen and refine my relationship with the process and application of the medium.

My oeuvre can be broken down into a multitude of periods; shifts in my work typically coincide with material changes in my surrounding landscape, personal relationships, or some major life event.

I prefer to work in solitude and my paintings are built slowly and carefully; the arc of my arm can be seen in the brush or palette knife stroke. I have a great deal of experience with discipline, practice, balance, and a relaxed and fluid control as both a painter and as an athlete. These principles of physical action, combined with careful, precise visual observation of my environment, underscore my lifelong approach to painting.

I’m constantly reminded of the relevance of this approach by a quote from Roberta Smith in The New York Times, December 31, 2010; “Paintings like poetry and music, are essential nutrients that help people sustain healthy lives. They’re not recreational pleasures or sidelines. They are tools that help us grasp the diversity of the world and its history, and explore the emotional capacities with which we navigate the world. They illuminate, they humble, they nurture, they inspire. They teach us to use our eyes and to know ourselves by knowing others.”