Stella Canfield's art is known for its deep emotional content, the dynamic of the brush stroke and vivacious colors. She creates intuitively and spontaneously in a relaxed, natural way of expressing her individual emotional response to the subject or scene she paints. Her work is charged with the energy of her own life, her passion for people and nature. The inspiration for Stella’s art comes from her appreciation of beauty and her positive view of the world.
Stella prefers to introduce symbols, giving the viewers the opportunity to visualize the details. This way she strives to emotionally involve them as partners, to give them a feeling of ownership of the painting. She believes art is a way of spiritual communication.
Stella was born in Varna, Bulgaria and graduated from the Academy of Sports in Sofia. She lived for five years in Germany and moved to the USA in 1985. For the last few years Stella has been dividing her time between Bulgaria and California, USA.
Stella dedicated the first 30 thirty years of her life to the sport world and was well respected as a national rower. In Germany she worked in ceramics which laid the foundation of her artistic career. Having loved watercolors since her childhood, she became an avid student of the medium. Supported tirelessly by her best friend and husband Michael, she traveled endlessly to take watercolor classes, seminars and conferences. Stella is a student of many of the best watercolor artists in the USA and abroad such as Milford Zornes, Serge Hollerbach, Robert Wade, Carla O’Connor, Frank Webb and many others. She has many solo and group exhibits to her credit in the USA and Bulgaria. She participates in many juried exhibits where she has received numerous prestigious awards. Stella teaches watercolor classes in the USA and Europe.
In 1998 Stella opened her own gallery in the town she lived, Coupeville, Washington (noted in the publications of “The 100 Best Small Towns in the USA”). In 2000 Stella founded “Stellar Arts Foundation”, an educational and charitable non-profit organization dedicated to help orphaned and abandoned children in Bulgaria. The foundation conducted painting tours for American artists who visited and recreated in their art the beauty of Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Republic of Georgia, Switzerland. Stella also founded the "Bulgaria Art Workshops" www.bulgariartworkshops.com, an art retreat in the village of Barzitsa, in her native Bulgaria where she spends half of the year's time.
Since 2001 Stella has been invited to teach at Daniel Smith, the most prestigious company in the USA for producing the finest paints. The company purchased one of her paintings for its permanent collection and included her DVD “Debunking the Myth of Talent” (a two hour video of Stella painting a Prague street scene) in their stores for sale. Stella is a certified brand ambassador of Daniel Smith.
In 2018 Stella was awarded the title Master of International Watercolor Society/IWS Globul, an organization which is involving already more than 110 countries. Stella actively participates in their exhibitions. She has received awards at the shows of IWS Pakistan, Prague/Czech Rep, Costa Rica, India and Malaysia. She is one of the jurors of the IWS Bulgaria.
In 2020 Stella founded IWS California USA, a non-profit organization. She became the President of the first branch of IWS Globe in the USA.
Stella Canfield ’s paintings can be found in several corporate, private and museum collections in America, Europe and Asia. Characteristic of Stella’s work and her place in the American Art is included in “Watercolor - The Spirit of Spontaneity” a book by Karlyn Holman www.karlynholman.com. Her biography is included in “Who is Who in America” and “Who is Who in American Women”.
Others about Stella:
“Stella Canfield is a passionate and uniquely creative artist. Her paintings are fresh and spontaneous because they are painted in a fast and loose, very intuitively, “ala prima” style.
…Her approach is expressive, bold and very direct whether she is creating “ en plain air” or in her studio. Stella paints “the spirit of the place” she is visiting. Instead of intellectualizing over every detail; she simply let’s her intuition and spontaneity have their way.
…When Stella applies the paint on paper, every stroke counts. All the emotions she feels are translated from within her and communicated in her painting trough line and color.”
Karlyn Holman "Watercolor – “The Spirit of Spontaneity” www.karlynholman.com
“Exceptional dynamic and fine soul which translates into fabulous watercolors – this is simply Stella! I do not know many artists who can paint true watercolors.”
Vesko Velev www.veskovelev.com Artist, pupil of Prof. Ivan Kirkov, Academy of Art,Sofia Bulgaria