Artist Studio Series: Stephen

Stephen Cefalo is a well-known artist in Little Rock. Last year he was voted best artist by readers of the Arkansas Times. He is often seen at the Arkansas Arts Center, at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) Department of Art, and in the North Little Rock Argenta art community. I have also seen him and his family a few times at Whole Foods.

Stephen is starting a school in Argenta. He teaches private classes at his studio in North Little Rock on Wednesdays. You can contact Stephen at stephencefalo@gmail.com for details or call at 501-231-9959.

I met Stephen in an open figure drawing class he hosted at UALR.

Stephen Cefalo Studio – Stephen writes about his studio below.

“My studio is nestled behind the library in the back of our new home in Indian Hills, North Little Rock.”

 
 

“It overlooks a flower garden. I come here not only to work, but to think and to relax.”

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“We are blessed to have this beautiful north-lit space. The light is better, the view is gorgeous, and even the air feels nicer out here. It is an incredibly peaceful and inspiring place to work in.”

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“Yes we are terribly pleased with our new place.”

 

You can visit Stephen’s website at www.stephencefalo.com

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The Life and Times of Ein – the Studio Dog

Ein is a studio dog.

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Since  a puppy, she herself once played the keyboard and squeaky toy.

As an artists dog, Ein gets all sorts of opportunities that maybe other regular dogs don’t get.

Looking at the art outside of the Arkansas Arts Center.

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Dressing up as famous artists.

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She gets to live with fine art in her house.

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Playing shows with The Damsels in Distress

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Going to garden parties and meeting the chickens.

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Reading and playing chess are also activities studio dogs like.
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The truth is, that Ein really loves being the dog of an artist!

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Ein in the studio

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Art Competitions

One of the responsibilities I take on as an artist is competing.

Why do artist compete in art competitions? What, you mean besides the eternal glory! Many artists compete to win the prize, the glory, and recognition by an official art community. To get discovered. To be published. To slowly turn into a career artist. To make their artist CV more professional. To feed their personal needs for affirmation as an artist. To be a part of the art community. To experience the heights of glory and the lows of despair. I compete for most of these reasons as well. I have been a competing artist for 15 years.

What is the last competition you won? I was chosen for publication and exhibition in the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) Equinox April 2013 for “Large Canvas Figure Study.”  However, I did not win Best in Show.

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How does it feel to win? Winning is like a group hug! At first, it is great. I feel proud of myself, that I am accepted as an artist in that particular community. I feel like my art is really good, of course it won! This feeling dwindles with time. Other thoughts start to creep in, like, “the competition must have not been too great, that’s why I won” or “ya, I won, but it was only this small competition” and so on. By the end, I just put it on my CV and until I win the next competition, it was my little victory.

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Winning is like a group hug!

What is the last competition you lost? I participated in the Arkansas Arts Center “Face Off: A Portraiture Competition” 2014. I didn’t even make it past the first round. However, I did make it in the Sunday newspaper Arkansas Democrat Gazette!

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How does it feel to lose? I would love to say that I am a gracious loser and that I say things like , “There were so many talented artists competing, so I’m just thankful I got to be a part of this whole thing.” Instead of this ideal response, I sulk and leave and cry about how I’m a loser.

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What was the last competition you entered?  My most recent competition experience was the Individual Fellowship with the Arkansas Arts Council. I initially knew I would enter this competition because the prize is eternal glory in Arkansas and $4,000. I thought I would work on a series of gouache paintings to meet the requirements of “works on paper.”

Then I started thinking about how I didn’t win this competition the previous year. I had competed with my thesis work, and if my thesis work didn’t win, why would I expect some little gouache paintings to win.

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I got really discouraged and psyched myself out – not finishing any of the paintings I wanted to create – with this competition in mind. I just kept procrastinating and working on other things first. Eventually, the deadline was approaching the week of, and I just took the whole thing off of my to-do list. I decided I didn’t want to be stressed out and I didn’t want to deal with any more failures, etc. This was my attitude until the deadline day.

On the deadline day, I was feeling great – like God-inspired hope and joy. I thought, I can do this!

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This is how I felt on the inside – the day I entered the competition.

The thing is, I am an artist, so I have hundreds of pieces to pick from as well as already photographed and documented work on my hand dandy flash drive. All I had to do was put it together in a package for this competition.

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I put all of my materials in this envelope and decorated it!

So, I made a quick to-do list of everything I would need to do to enter this competition by lunch, and then I walked it over on my lunch break.

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It felt really good to enter the Individual Fellowship competition rather than accepting defeat!

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Art Museum Picnic

M and I took the kids for the lunch hour on Friday.

M brought a picnic lunch, and everyone enjoyed the goodies (peanut butter and jelly sandwich, banana, and kettle chips).
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We had to keep a lookout because the geese kept invading our picnic!
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The kids found a resting duck on our way into the museum.
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Once into the Arkansas Arts Center , we went to Carroll Cloar’s exhibit. The kids seemed very interested in Cloar’s work and when asked how they would describe it, they said “cool.”
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Looking at art is a great way to spend the lunch hour!
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There was even a kids area – which I thought was “cool.” While Al helped ZZ with the magnets, SS made his own composition.
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Two things I learned while viewing art with kids was #1 When holding the two year old, I focused more on colors and shapes because I wasn’t sure what else to point out in the painting.
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#2 Going to see art with your kids is a really good thing! Also, people will look at you approvingly and admire your genius family.

What a good looking bunch!
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