MANITOBA MAGIC is a series of artworks based upon Andrew’s birthplace: Winnipeg, Manitoba. For the most part they are reflections of a lifetime of unforgettable moments spent on the prairie through all the very different four seasons. Each is an experience and memory from his time spent during his annual visits to his family cottage at Victoria Beach or from living and growing up in Winnipeg or from his many travels throughout the province as a professional actor.
Many of the pieces in this growing collection include his abstract take on its spectacular sunsets, the bitter cold, the blazing white snow and brilliant blue skies, vast prairie vista’s and the two major rivers running through the vibrant city of Winnipeg itself.
Andrew shared with us the inspirations behind these sample artworks from his new Manitoba Magic series:
The inspiration for COLOURS IN THE STORM comes from all the lights that both the city and individual homeowners put up during the holiday season. I love how they dance and sparkle against all the white snow on any given winter evening. In particular, I have always been enchanted by how that even when it may be a stormy snowy night, that the lights are still able to pierce through, adding their brilliant colour to the evenings magical dance of white.
Anyone who has visited Manitoba in the winter knows how icy bone-chilling cold it can get. As well, how during the summer, it can offer an intense dry sweltering heat. So I have always thought of my home as a place of both fire and ice. That is what has inspired me for the FIRE AND ICE artworks.
I have worked to incorporate a feeling of a fire that the ice sits inside. Living together as one. I also like, as an added bonus, seeing how these two opposing forces look so beautiful and harmonious together.
Being born and raised in Winnipeg, I know full well the extremities of cold weather and the effects it can have. When I was a child, when I saw mist or icicles of frost formed on the windows or on plants and trees, my parents would often refer to it as the work of the mythical “Jack Frost”. It was particularly visible when we awoke to it in the morning or went to bed to it at night.
WINDOW JACK’D depicts a late evening day in my parents’ home in Winnipeg, as Jack Frost weaves his frosty magic on the window panes. The moment where the skies began their shift from blue to darkness, with the sun setting and the moon and stars taking over their evening vigil.
You can visit more of these artworks on Andrew’s website, as they grow in number, under the Artwork Series tab: “Manitoba Magic”.
All Images Are © Andrew Stelmack
Andrew Stelmack Artist Statement
I am blessed to live and perform in a world where words and song are often given to me. Words and songs that enable me to communicate and connect with others. A precious gift as they help satiate my strong need to share with others emotionally.
However, my journey with my visual art has taught me it is equally — if not more so — more powerful to communicate without words or song.
As a visual artist, I like to use bold and conflicting colours, shapes and textures. To have the viewer journey with me as I explore an obsession of finding the calm within chaos.
I often use strong colours to assault and yet calm the senses at the same time. As well, I combine the opposing effects of texture with smooth luminosity, within the same space, until they find a shared and harmonious balance.
There also is an influence of cubism in my work as I am fascinated in how such perfect shapes as a square or rectangle can so quickly become “imperfect” from the simplest rupture or distortion.
In most cases, there is no specific story behind any given artwork. My exploration of trying to create calm within chaos usually means that an artwork decides what it will become all by itself. It is my job as the artist to let that happen and not get in the way.
Sometimes though, a painting can reflect a story I wish to share or is a reflection of my own emotional place at that given moment. But even when that happens, I don’t necessarily want that story or emotion to be its overriding force.
In the end, the most important thing is that I want each painting to have no boundaries imposed. For it to have unlimited possibilities for the viewer’s imagination to simply take hold and see where it goes.
The viewer and I connecting. Without words. Sharing our own private stories, thoughts and emotions. Together.
Andrew now lives in Toronto and spends a great deal of time between there and his family in Winnipeg. You can see his ever evolving artwork through his various solo and group shows in Toronto as well as through the many galleries carrying his work in Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa and Oakville. His works are found in many private and corporate collections and his work has been presented as gifts to Ministers and Members of Canada’s Federal Parliament.
Website: Andrew Stelmack Visual Artist