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Rising Stars: Meet Beth Stephano

Today we’d like to introduce you to Beth Stephano.

Hi Beth, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
As they say, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single footstep.

Originally from Erie, Pennsylvania, I followed a fine arts training both through grade school and high school and with private teachers and at the Erie Arts Center. A story that comes to mind is one that has to do with my mother. I wanted to take a higher-level art class, I was only eight years of age. Somehow my mom made arrangements with the arts center to get me enrolled in a summer drawing program for adults. I often remember my mom talking with me before we left for the first class. She said you are taking classes with adults so you will have to behave as an adult while you are there. Pay attention to the teacher and be respectful of the other artists while they are working. She went on to enroll me in other private art classes and teachers from then on. This is something that I have always carried with me and I tell this story often to this day. Many opportunities presented themselves because of those classes where I learned to create wonderful artwork.

I earned a scholarship and attended the Governor’s School for the Arts at Bucknell University in the summer between my junior and senior years of high school. It was a statewide competition, I won my place and participated. That summer at Governor’s School is also where I met my future husband who was a painter at the time but has gone on to become a jazz musician playing the double bass. All of this was possible by just remembering my mom’s words of being an adult and respectful of the art.

All of the artwork I had created until then helped me to have a strong portfolio, I was accepted to the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. I graduated with a Visual Communications Degree. While in school, I had many art courses both commercial and fine art-based. One of my drawing teachers was especially hard on me and critical of my work. One day I worked up the courage to ask him why. I felt that my work was going very well in his class. He said to me when asked that he was hard on me because my work was good and that I was one the few that was going to go on and do great things with it. After that, I had a new outlook, I knew where I was going.

After graduation, I relocated to Philadelphia to begin my career in pharmaceutical advertising as a creative on the art side. Later, arriving in New York City and working for many top agencies, I enjoyed much success. All the while I continued to paint and also began glass blowing in hopes of returning to my roots, the world of fine art.

As a painter in oils, I participated in First Fridays in Old City, Philadelphia and exhibited in different galleries. Also, I have exhibited in many artist shows and craft shows over the years. My career in New York led my family and I to move to New Jersey, where we lived for many years.

But then my feet traveled once again to Oahu, Hawaii to fulfill a lifetime dream my husband and I had promised ourselves on our Honeymoon 34 years prior. We moved to Oahu, where I currently reside. Enjoying the Aloha of the islands and the people that I was always wanting to be with. Where being respectful of the culture and the artists is still with me from that long ago learning.

I am now painting in oils and watercolors of florals and seascapes. Currently, I am showing my work at the Waimea Blue Gallery in Haleiwa along Oahu’s north shore. I have joined the Hawaii Watercolor Society and I am looking forward to my first show in downtown Honolulu.

Inspiration is all around me. I pull my visuals from plants that I own or are living in my yard. Surrounded by beauty, it is my inspiration every day to create my best work next. Hoping that my artwork brings happiness to someone else in their home and life.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
There have been many struggles over the years and there have been many successes as well. I try not to dwell upon the struggles too much. I like to remember the great things that came from the struggle more.

I usually try to always be the best at whatever artwork I am working on. Not letting it go out into the world without being perfect as I see it.

One thing that has been a struggle lately is gaining greater acceptance by new local gallery’s with my oils and watercolors. I will persist however because I know someone will like my work and my vision.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
My work, whether it is design, graphics, oils, watercolors, or sketches, brings joy and happiness to those who receive it. Everything is meaningful to me and once it has life, it goes out into the world to have its own journey.

I specialize in many mediums from computer art to traditional oil on canvas. I am known for my florals in oils which I have been painting for many years. Each has a unique perspective and fades into the dark field of the background in one place and differs in each work. It is always the game that I play, not knowing where the point will be that fades into the background.

What does success mean to you?
Being able to create art as a career and bring happiness to those who enjoy it.

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

Beth Stephano all photography

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