Death must be involved in order for a painting to come to life. I often tend to destroy my work in time, as an exercise of impermanence. Painting is kind of like shootin’, there’s always risk. I can put down the most potently emotional light. But I must be careful where I aim, because if the dark does not compliment the light, I’ve gone and killed that picture. Even when using a reference, observation does not fully take command in the way I’m painting. The experience of paint and movement are always at play as well. When I’m making an image, I float and I move. I can never stay in one place, I have to get it all down or maybe out of me. When I sit down to work, I am sitting down to document time and space, and the way I am navigating it that day. I believe that everything creative is an opportunity for defeat, for triumph, and for new lessons. I don't ever want to grow too comfortable with being comfortable. I willingly compete with the challenges and risks that come with making art. The competition is so much of the point. I paint the thickness of things. The thickness of air, the thickness of grief, the thickness of devotion and of love. The thickness of the country and the solace of open spaces. I paint the thickness of the sun dripping onto your head and the down back of your neck. I paint the tragic (but very human) stories of mankind, writing my own myths along the way. Painting is my main focus but I also do projects in animation, illustration, and recently some music. All of these mediums converse in a way that is so rewarding to tap into. The more mediums put into a project, the bigger that world becomes. The figure or landscape can be used to create a character and therefore, a story. Every painting must always go further than what is being represented, it must give birth to a world. I paint where nature meets order, and the continuity of time. I paint our relationships to the world we are in and the world that we've built.
Stasienko, Reilly, surrealist painter of the landscape, humanity, and figure. Born 2001, in Dayton, Ohio, “My work is an extension of myself”, she points out. “I try to let my standards down and allow impermanence to take its inevitable hold when I am making an image”. While in elementary school, Reilly spent all of her time climbing trees, riding horses, and sketching. Her parents encouraged the creative side of her and by the time she was in high school, she knew that she had to do something with art for a living. She attended the Miami Valley Career Center for two years, studying graphic design. Graphic design didn’t strike the right chord, it felt quite stale. So, she took up oil paint as a way to exercise her creative freedom. By the time she graduated, she was painting daily and decided that she couldn’t stop there. University was too expensive at the time so she worked at a grocery store and painted on the side, using her bedroom as a studio. Using social media as a tool, she pushed her art online and sold prints/commissions on her online site. Her first gallery show was held in Detroit, Michigan in 2020. After the show, as sales increased, she was able to quit her day job and pursue painting full time. Initially, she used this time for experimentation into new mediums. She taught herself how to animate, a bit of music theory, pastel, and digital illustration. “All of these avenues of expression converse in a way that is so rich to tap into. The more mediums one puts into a project, the bigger ones’ world becomes”. Recently, Reilly has been returning to her roots and focusing on drawing/painting. She has been self-taught with painting her whole life, but wants to hone in on the fundamentals of paint. “I want to go as far as I can in my time with oils. I want to mimic the feeling of stone, skin, ash, mold, and wood. I want to translate light and pigment into stories that stick with people, like myths. Painting transcribes a history that cannot be written into words”.