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 Stanislaus Joseph Sowinski  (1927 - 2010)

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Lived/Active: California/Hawaii/Wisconsin      Known for: landscape, figure, religious, mural, lithography, illustrations

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Ad Code: 4
Stanislaus J Sowinski
An example of work by Stanislaus Joseph Sowinski
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following is submitted by Wayne Richard, San Diego, CA artist

STANISLAUS J. SOWINSKI: Painter, Iconographer, Designer and Teacher

Born: 7 May 1927 Milwaukee, WI
Medium: Oils, Watercolors, and Acrylics

Sowinski considers himself a tonal/impressionist with emphasis on rich tones and loose, broken color. He believes in the the concept of "Less is More". His early art training came in high school where he studied with Edward Boerner, the former President of the Wisconsin Watercolor Society.

Later, when WWII ended, he arrived in San Diego, CA, on board a Navy Destroyer. In early 1946, while still on active duty he enrolled in night courses to study with the California Impressionist, Alfred Mitchell. Upon discharge from the Navy, he enrolled in the San Diego School of Art. After a year, he transferred to San Diego State University where he was graduated with a BA in Arts/Education.

Because of the Korean War, Sowinski was recalled to active duty with a commission. He continued to serve the Navy for another 22 years, most of which were at sea. During this time, he never ceased painting and studying, especially Oriental Art and its basic concept of "austere simplicity".

Besides having access to many of the world's art treasures in museums, he competed in many international art events and had one-man exhibits in Japan, the United Kingdom, and the U.S.

From the time he was awarded a Gold Medal for painting in 1943, while still in high school, he continues to add to his record of exhibitions and awards. His Art has appeared on greeting cards, calendars and lithographic prints, and is part of public, corporate, church and private collections.

The creator of Byzantine style Icons, he has numerous large-scale Icons in Orthodox and Catholic Churches in the San Diego area, including two - 12 foot long in the Corpus Christi Church in Bonita, CA. His large scale oil paintings are at a University, n Corporate Headquarters, Restaurants, City Halls, etc. His most recent accomplishments include a 6 X 18 foot oil diptych for the University of San Diego, and the Altar Design and five very large oil paintings, in traditional style, for St. Mary's Church in Escondido, CA.

He has given painting classes and workshops privately and at the San Diego Art Institute and the Dahl Fine Art Center, Rapid City, SD., and he is a former demonstrator for Grumbacher, Inc., and the Inveresk Paper Company, Bath, UK, makers of fine watercolor papers.

The following Master Painters have had the most profound effect on Sowinski's Art: (OILS) Sergent, Sorolla, R. Schmid and the Russian Impressionists, Serov Arkhipov, and N. Fechin;
(WATERCOLORS) Boerner, F. Whitaker, R. Mason, Homer, T. Kautzky, and Sir Wm R. Flint;
(ICONS) A. Rublev, and other Russian and Cretan Iconographers.

Stan Sowinski lives in San Diego, CA., and has been painting for almost 60 years.




WHO'S WHO IN AMERICAN ART - (continuously since 1965).


BRAND BOOK NUMBER FOUR 1976 (Author) San Diego Corral of the Westerners, pages 158-167

ARTISTS OF THE ROCKIES AND THE GOLDEN WEST Spring 1983, Herschfield Press Inc., John Manson-Ed/Publ., page 86

WESTERN ART DIGEST May/June 1986, Artists of the Rockies and the Golden West, John Manson-Ed/Publ, page 78
Stanislaus Sowinski lived in Hawaii for part of his adult life. He was commanding officer of the USS Abnaki in the 1960s, and his work is in the U.S. Navy Department in Washington DC. He contributed illustrations to "Ford Times", "Milwaukee Journal", "San Diego Tribune", and the "Navy Times". He also lectured on watercolor techniques, oriental art, and Suiboku techniques.

Source: Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art"


Stanislaus (Stan) Joseph Sowinski was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1927. He moved to San Diego, California, to attend San Diego State University, and has been a resident of San Diego County since 1945.

He studied watercolor techniques under the tutelage of Ben Messick, Everett Jackson, E. A. Boerner, and Ruth Ball.A dedicated artist for over 50 years, Stan is one of the most energic 75 year old men you will ever meet. He has a zest and love of life that is so evident in his work. He is a true colorist.

He spent 26 years in the Navy (painting and exhibiting the whole time) with four sea commands, including a 21-ship squadron during the Vietnam War. He was also the first American Navy representative to serve on the British Defense Intelligence Staff in London. He has traveled and exhibited throughout the U.S., the U.K., Japan and the Philippines, winning many awards along the way.

Since Stan's retirement from the Navy in 1971 he has resided in Escondido and continued his art career.

A few notable commissions include: UCSD, San Diego Trust and Savings Bank, International Savings Bank, the Corpus Christi Catholic Church, St. Mary's Catholic Church and 21 icons for the Sts. Constantine and Helen, Greek Orthodox Church in Solana Beach.Stan has exhibited at venues throughout Southern California. A renowned muralist, he is a member of the La Jolla Art Association, Laguna Beach Art Association, and San Diego Water Color Society.A few notable publications include: International Who's Who, Who's Who in the West, Who's Who In American Art and Falk's Who Was Who in American Art.

Source: AV Fine Arts

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Stanislaus Joseph Sowinski was born in Milwaukee, Wisconson on May 7, 1927 into a large Polish family. Sowinski was in San Diego in 1946 while in the Navy.  While there, he began night classes with Alfred Mitchell.  Upon discharge, he entered San Diego School of Art and earned his B.A. degree at San Diego University.  He was recalled by the Navy during the Korean War and then traveled extensively for the next 22 years.  As commander of the ship, Abnaki, he spent long periods in Honolulu and Japan.  Returning to southern California, he soon was soon active in the art shows while giving workshops, teaching privately and at the San Diego Art Institute.  He created many Byzantine icons for churches in the San Diego area before his death in San Diego on January 8, 2010. 

Exh: So. Calif. Expo, 1953 (award); Carlsbad-Oceanside Art League, 1954; Calif. Fiesta, 1955, 1956, 1959; Calif. State Fair, 1956; Laguna Beach AA, 1958; La Mesa AA, 1959 (solo); Laguna Art Festival, 1960; Artists of Hawaii, 1960, 1961. 

Works Held:  U.S. Navy Dept (Washington, DC); University of San Diego (large dyptich); St Mary’s Church, Escondido (alter and 5 large paintings).

Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

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