Artist Profile: Cleber Stecei
From the history and architecture of Cape Cod to the lyrics of his favorite songs, artist Cleber Stecei finds inspiration in the things that delight his eyes and ears. A native of Maringa, Brazil, Stecei grew up surrounded by bright colors and modern construction. When he first moved to the Cape at the age of 19, he didn’t know quite what to make of his new home.
“The old houses and barns on the Cape were very different from what I was used to,” Stecei says. While he knew nothing of the area’s art tradition before he arrived, he quickly learned about the community and grew to love his new surroundings. “The Cape is truly inspiring,” he says. “From the beautiful landscape to the diversity and interesting subjects, I find it very stimulating to be here.”
Stecei discovered painting at the young age of 14. Attending a class at an arts center in Brazil, he was introduced to materials and technique. From there, he started experimenting with paint on his own, creating album inserts of some of his favorite 1990s indie rock compilations.
Today, Stecei’s work is primarily landscapes, inspired by the raw, natural beauty of the Cape’s open spaces: marshes, cranberry bogs, and ocean vistas. His fresh interpretation of the region’s character is reflected in bold brushstrokes and magnetic colors. His simple compositions focus on atmosphere and light to capture the rich textures of the landscape.
His artistic approach typically involves traveling to different locations and creating small studies of paintings en plein air. He then takes his studies and photographs of the scene to his home studio where he creates a larger painting. “I like the whole process,” he says, “from priming to canvas, all the way to signing. It’s a really gratifying feeling when I see a painting done. I have an idea in my head for a long time, and when the idea comes to life, it’s an accomplishment.”
Stecei confides that he doesn’t think about technique when he begins a painting. “I have an appreciation for impressionists and realists and combine some of these elements in my work,” he says, “but I don’t try too hard to fit into a style.” – Lillian Lowe
Cleber Stecei’s paintings, which have been shown in collections countrywide, can be seen at the Addison Art Gallery at 43 South Orleans Road in Orleans.