p. cizmadia


Peter Cizmadia is a visual artist who practices stenciling, photography and painting to build his mixed media artwork. He hails from Washington DC, and spends significant time on the road, inspired by the changing spaces and lives within the American landscape. The natural landscapes of America feature prominently in his work, as well as the railroads and trails that cross them.

But if you’re interested in just how the work gets made, here is a brief introduction.

1.) Using pictures I've taken on my travels, I'll develop a composition that interests me and, hopefully, communicates some sort of message. Using photo editing software or a projector, I'll isolate the layers I need to produce a stencil layer.

2.) Working with anywhere from one to seven layers, I cut the layers by hand. It is an exhaustive and time-consuming process. Many artists have switched to a mechanical process, but for myself, I'm not sure what I am bringing to the table if I go that route. Besides, I frequently change and tweak the design mid-stream, and hand-cutting gives me the flexibility to do that.

3.) I will prepare a canvas with the desired under-painting, and do a test spray of the stencil to serve as a guide-line for later work. This is the time for further, frequently-needed adjustments.

4.) This part of the process has the greatest amount of guesswork and improvisation. As such, it's one filled with the greatest amount of worry and concern. Layers of acrylic, spraypaint, oilstick, chalk, and other media will be applied to reach the color balance and texture that I desire. It always looks bad, and it takes a leap of faith to take the next step.

5.) The main stencil layer is reapplied as a way to unify the various media and under-painting. 

6.) There may be reason to repeat steps 4 and 5, multiple times if needed. But at this point, I am reaching the end of the line. Depending on the subject matter and materials, there will be different balances of acrylic, spray paint, and other media.