Artist Stefanie Krenzek, or Steffi, as everyone knows her, is brilliant in more than just the paintings she produces. Her art, a style she calls realistic dream art, or a naive style of Impressionism, is bold, bright, light and somehow unassuming. It’s so eye catching, you feel yourself wanting to reach out and touch it. Steffi Krenzek’s art is highly regarded also for the feelings it evokes through its subject matter – it’s children. They provide us with nostalgia, a best friend from the past. When her work is viewed as a whole, we are taken in as a whole and Steffi’s messages of hope and positivity reign over the state of our worlds.
Steffi Krenzek Paintings Stir Up Childhood Memories
When I was about four years old, there was a television show called The Courtship of Eddie’s Father. To this day, 50 years later, I still walk around singing the song from that show, People Let Me Tell You About My Best Friend. Eddie was going to be my best friend someday. That song, that show, the actor who played that little boy, together portrayed someone I was determined to be best friends with someday. It went well beyond the power of television. It was a combination of the art. I loved it all. I still love that song. If that black haired, blue eyed, freckled faced little boy walked past me on the street today, I’m sure I’d recognize my childhood best friend.
Every day when I sign into Facebook, and am greeted by amazing artist Steffi Krenzek’s newest painting, I also recognize a childhood best friend. Through her self-proclaimed style of realistic dream art, which she says is a naive and impressionistic art style, Steffi portrays children doing everyday activities like playing hopscotch to fantastical endeavours like balancing their way along the rings of a planet. No matter if the child of that day that Steffi creates is on the more realistic side of her art or the dream side, they are equally relatable. If I was not playing with my friends doing these things as a child, I was busy daydreaming about them, and playing make believe. I guess that’s what it really is about Steffi Krenzek’s precious children in her realistic dream art, they help us believe.
Steffi Krenzek Paintings Inspire Thoughtfulness
With seemingly simple paintings like Enjoy Your Journey with a child sliding down a playground slide or Rule It! with a child organizing the solar system like toys, artist Steffi Krenzek gets more than just our attention. With her artistic style taking us by the hand and running away with us, we are transported back to childhood. With Steffi’s art, though, something more happens. It encompasses us. It also takes into account today. How we feel today as the adult? How life is now? How the world is now? The key to what Steffi Krenzek does is that no matter how anything is now, and let’s face it, it’s not the best, she always chooses to show us the best.
Steffi Krenzek Inspired by Her Father, Childhood and Escape
When asked, Steffi Krenzek gives a lot of credit for this part is her art to the fact she has never lost her inner child. She says she has a huge love of childhood that stems from her father. She called him the best father for her….the best father in the world. Steffi thinks her ability to keep her inner child alive with it’s innocence that we see in her art is a tribute to her father. She goes onto speak of the great importance of the world’s need to protect our children, our environment and our future in general. She hopes to do her part to spread hope and dreams instead of war by painting children. For children, she says, have hopes, dreams and unconditional love we can all relate to.
As stated, many of Steffi Krenzek’s paintings are set in outer space or have an ethereal element on earth. At it’s core, this concept in Steffi’s art represents her wish to be able to be free of this troubled world with all of its bad news. She would return to her childhood to the house her father built with his own two hands. Steffi Krenzek considers outer space as broadly as where we have come from and where we will return to. She often daydreams of living in her very own world. Then she quickly says she has too much time for fantasy. However, it is her fantasy that sets her children in outer space. There are no time limits on dreaming up such beauty.
When Steffi Krenzek touched on the possibility of an afterlife, I asked her if she believes in God. I find that artists have the most interesting answers to this question, and Steffi did not disappoint. First, she spoke of the good and the bad in the world, saying it is too complex for her to understand. So if she believes in God, she has to believe in the good in humanity and the good in herself. Steffi Krenzek’s final answer to if she believes in God was, “I hope so.”
How Steffi Krenzek Keeps It All Going
Steffi Krenzek’s realistic dream art is extremely popular. She has even now illustrated three children’s books. With this, most artists would begin to feel the pressure to stay in the mainstream. To Steffi, the pressure she feels is her own to evolve her own skills. It is more a calling, it seems, to become an artist, since she was a child and could hold a pencil. If Steffi Krenzek allows herself to feel too much pressure, she misses her intention as to why she is painting. For Steffi, to paint is to cure the soul, to take a trip to her fantasy land and catch a break from reality. Instead of allowing pressure to become her artistic companion that she says would paralyze her creativity and naivity, Steffi allows her inner child to shine through with all of its positivity.
Staying positive in today’s world can be a trick in itself, but for Steffi Krenzek to create her realistic dream art for the world on a daily basis in such a manner seems kind of heroic. Steffi does not feel so. To her, she simply says she focuses on the good. She believes in love and people with good hearts. Perhaps, she says, also believing in God. In angels. She escapes to her world of imagination, where in the end, good always conquers evil, and everything is beautiful and hopeful. There, she is able to fill up on positive energy to come back and create some of her positive art.
She Loves the Medium Pastels Dreamy Results
To look at Steffi Krenzek’s art, you have no problem understanding her self-proclaimed style of realistic dream art. Between her vivid colours and the incredibly bold lighting she attains in every piece, you clearly understand the intended image, yet are left dazed. Most of this comes from Steffi, herself, as we’ve found out. The other part of it is her use of pastels. As where a lot of artists shy away from their messiness, Steffi Krenzek thrives on it. She says pastels are the medium she can combine the softness she feels with the bright colours, and a soft touch. Being self taught, Steffi started out with acrylics. As she was learning more on her art journey, she found something was missing. When she discovered pastels, she found what had been missing. In the end, Steffi Krenzek likens her beloved pastels with their dustiness to people, saying we are ALL made of stardust.
Sources of Inspiration and Admiration
Steffi Krenzek’s inspirations run deep and wide, as you can probably imagine. Her most poignant being family members, stemming from her beloved father who was a carpenter. She also grew up in a house with influential paintings by her great uncles. Steffi also says her sister, Petra, is incredible with her art. Less personally, Steffi’s favourite professional artist is Edward Hopper. She talks of his light and mood, which are the tiniest bit reminiscent in Steffi’s realistic dream art style. She also referred to the genius of M.C. Escher and the autodidactism and eroticism of of Jack Vettriano. Steffi also speaks very lovingly of all of the incredible artists she had met online who she is lucky enough to gain inspiration from on a daily basis as well.
Other Parts of Krenzek’s Life
Not surprisingly, Steffi Krenzek’s favourite pastime is painting. To put it as she puts it, “Painting, painting painting!” That enthusiasm cannot be denied. When’s she is not painting she does have another job as well at a local hospital where she works with medical products in patient care. Some of her other interests include plants and music. Steffi has some rather old plants. With her being forever 48, one of her plants is at least 34 years old! Her music tastes range from punk to avant-garde classic, depending upon her mood. Steffi says her favourite and her best kept secret is Music for 18 Musicians by Steve Reich. I spent the full hour and six minutes on YouTube with her best kept secret, and now that it’s out, I highly recommend it as well.
Steffi Krenzek lives in Gottingen, a city in the middle of Germany. She is only 500 meters from the home she grew up in that her father built. Steffi studied to become a banker. At one point though, with a smile, saying that since she is left handed, she never understood mathematics and all logic is lost on her sometimes. Steffi loves every season of the year equally because they are as beautiful as the different stages of our life. I found it shocking that she said the bravest thing she ever did was to fly in an airplane, when every day she puts her heart and soul out for the world to see, if not share in some cases.
In The End, Let the Dream Live
When you see Steffi Krenzek’s realistic dream art, let it all sink in…..from that child, to the hope and positivity, to the stardust of her magical pastels. Moreover, think of the incredible artist, the amazing person, Steffi Krenzek, who makes it happen. Hang on tightly to these gifts she gives you, for they are feelings. And just like this incredible artist, Steffi Krenzek, shares her incredibly hopeful vision with us, so should we be able to hang onto it, yet pay it forward as well.
Some of Steffi’s Nostalgic Pastel Paintings
About the Writer
My name is Nikki Finnigan. I am a visual artist and I love the opportunity to write about all of these amazing artists as it is another way to bring art to my life. Please follow me on-Granny Finnigan’s Art.