While studying environmental science at Carleton University, Stefan realized the toxicity of the art materials he was using. In 2007, he phased out conventional art supplies for more eco-friendly and homemade alternatives. Now he sculpts, draws and paints using recycled organic cotton or rag papers, hand-mixed paints from egg yolks, carbon from burnt wood, iron oxide (rust), linseed oil, beeswax, tree resins, wheat paste and clay.
“I’ve been manipulating material as my profession for the last two decades. I have spent a lot of time experimenting with different materials and methods. These include sculpture, woodburning, collage, carving, sewing, digital projection and audio formats. A major focus which spurs me into new mediums is trying to make art while considering the environment we live in, finding natural alternatives to otherwise toxic art materials.
I’m happiest doing my work as a moment-to-moment expression – a meeting with the unknown. Life and painting are one, and each painting you see is a part of the painter. I see creation as a totally candid expression, and therefore a worthwhile practice day to day.
Maybe that is the challenge of making art, knowing that everything about it is seen, at least for those who look. Behind our scratches on canvas and the world itself, there is a delicious truth.”
“It is my hope that, with this work, a certain awareness will be transmitted about materials. I hope that it gives inspiration to other creators to make their work with recycled things and new materials that easily return to the earth and are collected in a sustainable manner.” – S. Thompson