Maryland Pastel Society newsletter


Stan Sperlak

Stan Sperlak

At The Point, 12 X 20

Stan Sperlak was born in Denver, CO in 1960. He spent many years traveling the country as his parents were transferred by the military from Hawaii, Minnesota and New York to finally settle in Cape May, NJ in 1974. Stan showed an early interest in drawing and photography, and was also involved in music and poetry during and after his high school years. He has resided in Cape May Court House and Goshen NJ Since 1985, marrying and having two sons.      

Stan attended The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts during 1995-1998 studying with Al Gury, Jill Rupinski, Maggie Gilboy and others. During 1998-99, he studied at the home of fellow artist and noted landscape architect William Frederick of Hockessin, DE who had arranged for private classes by Academy teacher Patrick Arnold. These classes were conducted outdoors at Frederick's garden. Stan also studied from 1997-2003 with Patricia Vanaman Witt, founder of the Barn Studio of Art in Millville, NJ. This study focused primarily on plein air landscape painting at the Burcham's Farm on the Maurice River in Port Elizabeth, NJ. He also studied with Louis Sidney Mohollen, a student of Hobson Pittman who taught him monotypes in 1998.  

Old Days, 16 X 30

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In 1997 Stan purchased 37 acres of farmland, forest and marsh in Goshen, NJ along the Crow Creek and started work on a studio and future teaching facility. In 2003 with the encouragement of Pat Witt, Stan embarked on carrying forth Witt's traditions of plein air teachings and style. Crow Creek Farm is now the main facility for his teaching. Sperlak has also taught in Maine, Colorado, South Carolina, Pennsylvania and Maryland. He has been invited to teach and speak at art centers across the US.  

Stan's overall emphasis on teaching has been a continuation of the lineage taught at the Academy and Witt's work, where painting outdoors should be an exercise in "note taking" with color and gesture from life, to capture the light and essence of a place, and to establish the basis for future works from these studies. But to also remember that as artists, one must synthesize their self and subject to truly express and create works of interest, that compel others to think beyond what might be just pretty, to what becomes a truth.  

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Tugboat Delaware, 8 X 10

Stan's latest works focuses primarily on the landscape of the Mid Atlantic. Shorelines, marshes, fields, skies, boats, fisherman and night scenes are often explored while there are examples of figures in the landscape as well and to a lesser extent, figurative paintings. His strongest influences are Robert Henri, George Inness, William Lathrop and NC Wyeth.      

Since 1998 Stan has been showing professionally, taking the traditional route of entering shows and street fairs in the greater Philadelphia/South Jersey area. His work was first carried by Ocean Galleries of Stone Harbor, NJ. (He is currently represented by galleries in Philadelphia PA, Wilmington, DE, Annapolis, MD, Snow Hill, Md, Stuart, FL, and Cape May, NJ.) His works are also in the permanent collection of the Noyes Museum in Oceanville, NJ.      Stan is a member of the Mid Atlantic Plein Air Painters Association, having served on the Board of Directors since 2005. He is a member and past President of The Cape May County Art League, and a juried member of the Pastel Society of America, and the Maryland and Colorado Pastel societies. He has just pubished a book of a decade of paintings, "The View From My Easel" pastel paintings of South Jersey a hardcover book with over 120 full color images.

Sunset on Bay, 12 X 20

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You can check out Stan's website at