Glowing colours, crystal clear details and a soft, painterly naturalism, characterizes Stella East’s paintings. Her images often have a touch of surrealism and decorative, symbolic elements.
(Translated from the Norwegian Wikipedia® 2009)
I paint images that are simple, yet dense with information. I paint for my inner child who still remembers being spellbound by beautiful and detailed imagery.
Through research and observations, I seek to understand how things look and work. I combine this knowledge with the grammar of visual-storytelling, my personal visual language and by using pigment-dense acrylic paint on fine woven Belgian linen portrait canvas. Each picture then, articulates knowledge, narrative and beauty – with a purpose to be shared, experienced and understood.
The emotional connection that I feel when looking at certain works of art – and when painting my own images, is the feeling that I truly hope people will experience when seeing my paintings.
Member of NBK, TF
Planned projects and exhibitions
I am working on paintings, sketches, and stories for two picturebooks while at the same time seeking to get them published at my studio Blank Space in Oslo.
I am going on tour with an exhibition and workshop for the touring organization “DKS Østfold” in January, February, and March. I have applied for more tours for 2019/2020.
This touring is my exhibition activity where I also meet my audience.
I am planning courses at Oslo Painting club (OMK).
I am planning several study trips.
I continue with my web page in consultation with web designer Morten Budeng, and where I present work as far back as 1969.
I paint by hand and thus only have an example of each work. Giclée prints give me the opportunity to both sell my work and to show off my work. The website is my biggest exhibition arena, where I present both my pictures, giclée prinst, and my ideas about art and illustration.
A Wandering Exhibition, with a Presentation and a Workshop
With my own wandering exhibition for the touring organization “The Cultural Rucksack” (DKS), I have traveled with my paintings for over 18 years. From Finnmark county in the north, to Sogn og Fjordane and Hordaland counties to the west, and to Oslo, Hedmark, Oppland and Østfold counties to the east, I convey and show my original paintings to so far over 25,000 children.
• “Pegasus" The Brakanes School Library, Norway, 1998
• “The Forest”, The Grimstad House, Norway, 1995
• “Night and Day Sky”, Doktergarden, Norway, 2000
Public purchase of works
• The Canadian Embassy in Kiev, 2008
• The Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi, 2005
• Norwegian National Library, 2004
• Årstad bydel, Bergen Municipality, Norway 2003
• The Osterøy Retirement home Art Collection, Norway. 1989
• The Sunnmørsposten newspaper, Norway.1979
Exhibitions: Solo exhibitions (a selection)
• Tegnerforbundet Galleri, Oslo, Norway, 1994 and 2001.
• Arctic Gallery (The Sami Gallery), Tromsø, 1991
• Galleri Nota Bena, Oslo, Norway, 1991
• Galleri 1, Bergen, Norway, 1983
Exhibitions: group exhibitions (a selection)
• The Illustrators Wondrous Ark, Gallery R21, Oslo 2018 and Sandnes 2017, in connection with the “Nordic Children’s Book Conference”, Stavanger.
• Children’s Book Festival, Gallery Grafill, Oslo 2016
• The CANSCAIP collection, travelling exhibition, Canada 2007 – 2013
• The Sixth Nordic Biennale of Graphic Design and Illustration, Copenhagen,
• The National Exhibition of illustrations for Children’s Books, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada, 1991
• The Fourth Nordic Biennale of Graphic Design and Illustration, Oslo, Norway, 1990
• The Norwegian National Art Exhibition, 1990
The Biennale of Illustration, Bratislava Czechoslovakia 1989
• Norwegian Illustration fund Travel Grant 1994, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2013, 2018.
• Allotted The Guaranteed Minimum Income for Artists (GI), -from the Government of Norway, since 2011.
• Ellen and Chrix Dahls grant 2010.
• The Visual Artist Help Fund for the Artist in Residence: The Nordic Artists’ Residency in Rome 2010.
• Grafill Travel Grant 2010.
• Bergen Municipality Arts Grant 2008.
• Hordaland Provincial Culture Work Grant 2001.
• Grafill Exhibition Grant 2001.
• Norwegian Illustration fund: Bologna Book Fair Grant 1993, 2002. and 2006.
• Norwegian Book Art Grant 1988.
• Fjell Municipality Culture Grant 1987.
• Norwegian Illustration fund/Project Grant 1986.
Awards and Nominations
• Allotted The Guaranteed Minimum Income for Artists (GI),
from the Government of Norway, 2011 .
• Artist in Residence at the Nordic Artists’ Residency in Rome. 2010
• Diploma, “The Year’s Most Beautiful Books” Norway, 2007
• “Our Choice” The Canadian Children’s Book Centre, 1999 and 2005.
• Short listed, 2002 Hackamatack Award.
• The Nautilus children’s Picture Book (NAPRA) 2000.
• Resource Links, Best of the Best 1999.
• Short listed: “Ruth Schwartz Children’s book award” Canada, 1999 and 2004.
• Short listed: “The Amelia Frances Howard Gibbon award” Canada, 1999.
• Diplom, “The Year’s Most Beautiful Books” Norway 1997.
• Silver, “The Visual” competition Norway 1993.
• Award of Excellence. “Communication Arts Illustration Annual” USA 1990.
• Diplom, “The Form” competition Norway 1984.
• York University, Toronto, MA thesis “Picturing Stories”, Interdisciplinary Programme, 2004-2008
• The National College of Art & Design in Bergen, Norway 1978-1983
• Exchange student to Dartington College of Arts, Totnes, England 1977
• Cornish Institute of Allied Arts, Seattle, USA 1976-1977
• High School of Commerce, 4 year vocational art course, Ottawa, Canada 1969-1973
Publications and lectures concerning images as languages
Masters Thesis, Picturing Stories: The Integrity and Marginalization of Visual Storytelling in Children’s Picturebooks, 2008, York University, Toronto, Canada; – examines the visual story within picturebooks as an art form and a language, within a storytelling and fine art tradition.
Ideas from “Picturing Stories” have been presented at various venues including the 31st IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) World Congress Copenhagen, 2008, at the Year’s Most Beautiful Books, Oslo, 2009, and now at Cambridge University in 2018.
“Picturing Stories” 2008, was purchased by;
- Norwegian Children’s Book Institute (NBI)
- University Library in Oslo,
- The Norwegian Association for Drawing (Tegnerforbundet (TF)).
- Grafill: Norwegian Association of Graphic Designers and Illustrators.
- The University College in South-eastern Norway .
- The Notodden Library.
• NBK, Norwegian Fine Artist Association
• Tegnerforbundet, The Norwegian Association for Drawing
• Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)
Since 1983 I have illustrated 10 picturebooks and 6 illustrated books with Norwegian and Canadian authors. My work has been published in Norway, Canada, USA, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, Korea, Greece, and China. I made my debut as a writer with Wolf Cub Sim: Stories about the World Outside.
The story about Earth Water, and Sunshine. Words and pictures Stella East. Forthcoming.
The Jungle Chess Journey. Words and pictures Stella East. Forthcoming.
Wolf Cub Sim: Stories about the World Outside (Ulveungen Sim: Fortellinger om Verden Utenfor) Stella East. Norway: Skald Publishers, 2006, 2007. Copenhagen: Thorup Publishers 2007. Germany, Hanser Verlag 2009.
Buddha Stella East/ Tor Åge Bringsværd. Oslo: Gyldendal Publishers, 2003. Germany: Hanser Verlag, 2005.
The Paint Box Stella East/ Maxine Trottier. Toronto (and USA): Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2003. Copenhagn: Thorup publishers, 2003.
Dreamstones Stella East/ Maxine Trottier. Toronto (USA): Stoddart Kids, 1999. Copenhagen: Thorup publishers 2000
The Christmas Mystery (Julemysteriet) Stella East/ Jostein Gaarder. Oslo: Aschehoug Publishers, 1995- ; Greece, 1997; Ungarn, 2013; Lithuania, 2014; Korea, 2014; Kina 2015.
The-Forget-me Box (Glemmekisten) Stella East/ Ivar Selmer-Olsen. Oslo: Tiden Publishers, 1992.
Singing Stone (Syngende Stein) Stella East/ Hyemeyohsts Storm. Trans. Øyvind Skeie. Bergen: Eide Publishers, 1990.
The White Stone (Den Kvite Steinen) Stella East/ Wenche Krossøy. Bergen: Eide Publishers,1989.
Heimdall’s Sons (Heimdalls Sønner) Stella East/ Tor Åge Bringsværd. Oslo: Gyldendal Publishers, 1987.
The Golden Key (Gullnøkkelen) Stella East/ Wenche Krossøy. Bergen: Eide Publishers,1987.
A Journey to Joan of Arc. En reise til Jeanne d’Ark. Stella East/ Jon Ewo Oslo: Omnipax, 2008.
Bibi behind the Bombs and the Burqua. (Bibi bak Bomber og Burqa) Stella East/Berit Molander. Oslo: Norwegian Church Aid, 1994.
A Grandmother’s Christmas Book for Children (Bestemors julebok for de små) Trine Kolderup Flaten, ed./ Stella East. Bergen: Eide Publishers, 1992.
Oh, Christmas with Your Joy (Å, Jul med din glede) Trine Kolderup Flaten, ed./Stella East. Bergen: Eide Publishers, 1991.
The Ford and Other Stories (Forden og andre forteljingar) Stella East/Marianne Havdal Oslo: Gyldendal Publishers, 1991.
The Railway Children (Jernbaneborna) Stella East/ Edith Nesbitt. Oslo: Bokklubbens Barn, 1988.
Teaching at University level
• The National College of Art & Design in Bergen: 35% teaching position, 2001/2002, Supervisor for two Masters Students, 2001, Guest teacher, 2000, External examiner, 1989.
Teaching at High school level
• Etobicoke School of the Arts, Toronto, Canada: guest teacher, 2004
• Hjeltnes Horticultural School, Ulvik, Norway: 35% teaching position, 1997-2000.
• Trafo.no: mentor since 2000.
Teaching at Elementary school level
• Oslo Montessori School, 2009 – 2010
• Maya Music and Arts School, Oslo, 2008 – 2010
• The Ulvik Cultural School, Norway, Art School for Children, 1996 – 2000.
• Private art school for children, Ulvik 1992 – 1993.
About the book “Dreamstones”
“The sensuous textures of frost tracery and fur, and the contrasts of firelight and moonlit snow against the blue-black darkness in East’s vivid paintings, enhance the magic and eerie beauty of the story. Dreamstones deserves a place besides such outstanding picture books of the North as Andrews and Wallace’s the The Very First Last Time and Ted Harrison’s works.”
(Gwneth Evans, September 1999, Quill and Quire, Canada)
Artist in Residence in Rome
From the Linkedin article “Why I Paint Stories”:
Rainbow workshop at Strøno Primary school, Norway
”Picturing Stories” Master avhandlingen by Stella East
Stellas bilde i den ”Canasaip Collection” vandreutstillingen