More about Me

As far as I can remember, even the kindergarten years, I was 'the drawing kid'. I always had to draw something while the other kids were listning to the teacher, and what I was drawing had apparently nothing to do with what he or she was saying... You see, there were those ideas, images bouncing off the walls of my head and they just could not wait. They had to soon come out and make their home on paper - which somehow coincidentally most of the time happened to be my notebook...


I was a dreamer, thinking of possibilities, maybe sometimes not practical but I just could not resist my imagination. And this imagination has been my greatest Muse, taking me on adventures in creating strange worlds, creatures and machines. I also loved animals, especially marine, and this is why most of my childhood paintings are images of members of our greater family.

On the other hand, I was very much like most of the kids my age, had lots of friends and been a member of my own circles. In the fourth grade I was chosen as one of the six students who were going to jump one level up, and this experiment, despite my good grades, ended up making me feel alienated, an outsider. I think that through this experience I became more introverted, in hard times looking inside rather than outside for help. Probably, it was the beginning of shaping my personality and character to be ready for painting sumie one day...

I went to the university when I was 17. Raised in socialist Poland, curious about foreign countries and drawn be the adventure and the unknown, I chose to become a ship engineer - like my father.

After five years there, I followed my parents to Canada. Not knowing English at that time and trying to cope with the totally alien to me western culture ( can you imagine I had my first BigMac when I was 21 ? ) the only place where I could find peace was inside me, the only place whith no lies or judgements. With experiences, I had learned that no matter what happens to me on the outside my inside must stay still, calm, as long as I put my trust in the hands of fate. I was on a journey of learning how to recognize and preserve myself as a just human being, and nothing else. A journey of which the ultimate goal is to find my true self one day, maybe even the last day of my life, if I am lucky... Or maybe the answer is the journey itself...

Years later, after deciding on going to Japan, I knew I will have to go through similar adjustments again. I didn't give it a second thought though, and after leaving behind just a couple of boxes filled with books and memories, with only about one thousent US dollars in my pocket I landed in Tokyo. Without the language, a place to sleep or a direction I did not worry because I knew that I had me...

Life wasn't easy at times, and I've even had my share of near death brushes ( even as a child, when in Rostock, Germany, our life boat on the way from the port to my fathers ship anchored a distance from the shore got lost in the sea, in the fog, at night, with broken engine and sudden storm gaining its power ) or later in Poland when I was shot at by the riot police and narrowly escaped injury. There were many others, but I understood that all this is for me to realize that I have the power to preserve myself. I've learned to appreciate simple things and I've learned hope. Loosing is not a desired experience, but it is a blessing experience. Life doesn't end with that after all, and after no matter how long the chain of mishaps is there always would be something nice waiting there down the road, even if this would be just the feeling of peace, accomplishement or self discovery. Just - but how does it seem distant and impossible at times ! As for myself, I believe that it awaits me, as long as I will believe it's there...

In private I have many hobbies and dreams. One of my passions are antiques. I started collecting them while in Japan - a very modern country, but with its rich and dating centuries back ago history, a perfect place to go on a 'treasure hunt'.


The reason why antiques interest me is not simply for their beauty of design, as it is to some people ( or even the price ! ), but the soul they have. Centuries ago artists had no choice but make things using their hands, to create something they had to put into it part of their soul, or rather all of it... There were no shortcuts and the creations were done straight from the heart. The created art was given live on its own and I can see it breathing every time I look at it centuries after their fathers died...

Nowadays, a lot of the so-called modern art, is made based on the plain desire to surprise and shock. The artists defend themselves saying that art is supposed to touch people, make them react. I agree with this with one major difference - a difference between 'touching' and 'hitting someone over the head'. Hiding behind the corner and screaming at someone to scare is kids stuff, a cheap trick - waste of peoples time and money. I am not saying that those things are not valuable - people should express themselves. There is a lot of frustration among many other things going on in our minds and it is healthy to let them out, but in my opinion, just because someone has made something in his or her free time and put it up in a gallery is just not enough to categorize it as art. I believe that there is a boundry between what is not and where art starts, no matter for for how much money it sells and how many people admire it.

As you probably now by now, I am an animal lover with a special interest in turtles. I have a bunch of them living with me now. I found the snapping turtles to be one of the most intriguing species of turtles and have even made a website about them, called The Snapping Turtle Page, for the turtles and all the turtle lovers out there !

I also love diving, hiking and camping - anything outdoors ! This includes riding motorcycle - another of my passions.

sgielewski@yahoo.com
CopyRight © Stan Gielewski 2001 - 2006

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