Descended from Russian grandparents who fled to America in 1917, Stefan Pastuhov was instantly inspired by his surroundings when he moved to Maine in 1984. In those early years he and Stapleton Kearns painted together almost daily and Pastuhov loved the challenge of painting the changing weather and light, coming and going of the tide, the beautiful red of the blueberry barrens, pristine winter landscapes, and the intemperate seas and rocky coast. He has been especially influenced by painters in the Cape Ann plein air tradition Aldro Hibbard, Emile Gruppe, Paul Strisik, and often paints Maine landscapes with Cape Ann artists like Donald Mosher.
“The fact that I paint outside on location makes each day new. Be it overcast or sunny, snowy or green, ablaze with fall colors or barren of leaves, every location I paint is constantly in change. With this continual flux I am able to paint a number of paintings in each spot, every work attaining an individuality all its own. The intellectual challenge of designing each piece and then undertaking its construction is very meaningful to me as an artist. Capturing the sparkling light of late afternoon or the reflections in a rushing stream will always excite my senses. Although most of my work is done in Maine you will rarely see me anywhere without my paints. Any day that goes by without dipping my brush in paint is a disappointment if not a total loss.”