Artist Frantisek Strouhal uses traditional 19th century techniques combined with his unique contemporary vision to create wonderfully timeless imagery. To learn more about this artist and his technique, please visit his website.
I was born in Czechoslovakia. During my childhood, I was greatly influenced by my grandfather and uncle who were both painters. Now I live and work in British Columbia. Over the years, I developed a strong affinity with methods outside the prevailing conventions in combining 19th century style with 21st century art and craft.
I use a very unusual technique that is based on the Carbon Printing process developed in 1855. My artwork is created from photography, digital collage, contact printing and lithography inks on watercolor paper.
My artistic ideas just come from the inside: moment in, moment out; feelings in, feelings out. My internal monologue shapes itself as a vision, an image which I sketch on a sheet of paper. To materialize this vision I capture the figure of live models with my 4×5 camera.
These portraits are integrated with previously collected images of landscapes, architectural details, and still life in a collage effect, situating the person in an imaginary environment.
I love to work with the human form. It is the most universal symbol of beauty that stirs and satisfies my mind and heart. Thus the human form is essential to my art work.
It’s in my studio that I become most creative. It is the brightest room in our house with its skylights and large windows facing the mountain range. In quietness or with music I prepare myself to ink the matrix. It is then that I feel in perfect harmony with myself, totally in the moment. My creativity just flowers.
I enjoy the process of bringing the light out of the darkness in the artwork by erasing, clapping, and rubbing off some of the inked layers. The piece all of a sudden takes on a life of its own and guides my next move.
The theme “Art Embracing Awareness” embodies the purpose of my work. One of its essential aspects explores thoughts and inspirations of an existential nature and investigates the interaction and harmony between the spiritual and the physical world.
This work exists to connect with others in contemplation, and peace. The ambiance is meant to be dreamy and unhurried with a style that opens the window to reflection, and emphasizes a sense of mystery through a variety of textures, shapes and shadow play.
My artworks can be found in numerous private and public collections in Canada, United States and Europe. My portfolio “Art Embracing Awareness” has been featured in many juried and invitational exhibitions throughout North America. I was honored to be the recipient of the Gold Medal at the Rotary Centre for the Arts in Kelowna, British Columbia and be selected by the Manhattan Arts International curated art exhibition “The Healing Power of Art,” 2015. I was also given the Awards of Merit at both American Juried Art Salon’s International Fine Art Show and Decorative Art’s International Show.