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 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.”
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 Center 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 life-long 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.”