Having grown up in the cosmopolitan city of Washington D.C. Stacy Kamin has lived a life any aspiring artist would envy. Providence brought her into the world with a mother, Jacqueline Kamin, who nurtured Stacy’s interest in drawing and painting every step of the way. Noted artist and teacher, Jacqueline Kamin, indulged her child’s art supply caprices and enrolled her in children’s classes at the National Gallery at a very young age. Art was alive in this bright artistic spirit, and as Stacy herself says: “creating images from pencils and paint was like magic to me. I knew early on that I had to be an artist.”
What subjects do you paint?
Stacy Kamin: “My subjects vary. I find that it’s not about the subject it’s really about the shapes and how the light is falling upon it. With that said, I’ve always been drawn to people, portraits and figures. I love capturing an action movement, I have a background in animation. I did a series of busy kitchen scenes. I really like to paint the movement, letting the viewer have a feeling of what the cooks next movements would be.”
Where did you study art?
Stacy: ” I’ve always been drawn to art, it was just something I was good at from a young age. I cultivated it with art classes, and I’m lucky enough that my mom is an artist, she always encouraged me. She is my first teacher. I went to art school in San Francisco and graduated with a fine art degree from The Academy of Art University where I studied animation. After school, I found that animation wasn’t for me and I wanted to be a painter. I studied painting with a Chinese Artist, Shuqiao Zhou, in Alhambra, California. Then I studied with David Leffel and Sherrie Mcgraw, they are my major teachers and of course I’m lucky enough to have my mother who has been my number one teacher in my life.”
Is art a Career or hobby?
Stacy: “I am lucky that I turned my hobby into my career. I do love what I do for a living sometimes it doesn’t feel like I’m working, Its my passion.”
Have I had any exhibitions?
Stacy: “Yes I’ve been in various art exhibitions. I have had a one person show in Salem Massachusetts, Houston Texas, Santa Fe New Mexico. I’ve been in group shows with the California Art Club gold medal show Oil painter of America and the Salmagundi Club.”
Have you had work published?
Stacy: “I had my work publihed in ‘Southwest Magazine’. I’ve been slow in promoting myself. I’m so busy actually painting and working.”
Which artist inspire you?
Stacy: “There are so many artists that inspire me, my teachers David Leffel, Sherrie Mcgraw my mom Jacqueline Kamin. The other artist that have inspired me through history, I love Rembrandt, Velasquez, Mancini, Turner. There’re so many artists that I can learn from.”
Stacy studied illustration and traditional animation at the academy of art university in San Francisco, earning a BA in 2000. After graduation, she interned with a small animation company long enough to realize that illustration was not her calling, although a fascination with capturing movement was. This she would explore through line and paint as a fine artist. She joined her family in Los Angeles and there found a well-respected Chinese artist, Shuqiao Zhou, to mentor her privately for six years. Zhou’s teachers came from the great Russian lineage of Ilya Repin and Valentin Serov and through this expressive tradition, imparted a love of paint that is still a hallmark of Stacy’s work.
Drawn to the dramatic effects of Rembrandt, Stacy sought out the instruction of two well-known masters of this knowledge – David A. Leffel and Sherrie McGraw. She credits their influence for the startling light that she is able to achieve in her own work. “They introduced me to abstract realism, a way of painting so rich that I can’t imagine my education ever ending. I will be a student of this great tradition for my entire life.”
This humility coupled with a selfless generosity led her to teaching. She presently conducts classes for her Alma Mater through online instruction, and locally at the Los Angeles Academy of figurative art, Brentwood art centre and The Kline Academy of art, as well as acting assistant instructor for Bright Light Fine Art workshops nationwide.
In her own words Stacy describes this lifelong obsession this way. ”I believe art work is supposed to evoke emotions and feelings in human beings. When I see a great painting, it talks to my soul. Even if I can’t describe what I feel – when I respond to a great work of art visually – it speaks to me in a profound way. The reason I strive to improve is that the magic of capturing life on a flat surface will forever intrigue me. I want my own work to provoke such thoughts and emotions to the beauty that captivates me still.”