Stefanie Bales: “Amor Terrae: Letters to the Wild”


October 22, 2023

On View Through:

December 30, 2023

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Stefanie Bales - Ciel Lavande
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Stefanie Bales - Skies of Arcadia

In the last exhibition of the year at Sparks Gallery, Stefanie Bales’ solo exhibition examines the theme of “imagination” through a visual exploration of collective subconscious. Amor Terrae: Letters to the Wild is the culmination of years of research and exploration into Gestalt principles of visual perception, the collective subconscious, and the artist’s own intuition and perspective on our interactions with the natural world.

All of Stefanie Bales’ work reflects on the surreal, ethereal, and metaphysical state of daydreaming, and the fragmented ways in which we perceive memories. Bales draws and expands upon this feeling in her practice, creating majestic scenes that feel simultaneously personal and ubiquitous. Her work reminds us of that collective feeling that we all share when witnessing a magnificent sunset — the profound acknowledgment that we all share the same sky. None of the landscapes are geographically specific, rather, they are composites of numerous topologies blended harmoniously into one larger “place”. 

Regarding the creation of her pieces, Bales explains, “I’ve developed and honed an original process that I use to compose much of my work.  My process is similar to collage, but instead of cut and paste,  I’m using an original ‘ink transfer’ process to transfer bits of texture and imagery onto the canvas which I then paint within, over, and around, responding intuitively to the transferred piece as I continue to build out imagery and form the larger narrative and composition.  My aim is that the viewer sees the work as a whole, and it isn’t until further investigation that the incongruities that give it its ‘dream-like’ qualities are noticed.”

The show’s title, Amor Terrae: Letters to the Wild, reflects Bales’ appreciation for the gifts of nature: the brilliant colors created by the rising and setting of the sun, the tenor and texture of the ocean, and the quiet movement of palms and petals in the wind. These works are Bales’ attempt to make tangible and permanent all of the magnificent and ineffable things in life that are so easy to miss or to take for granted.


Stefanie Bales is an award-winning Fine Artist, muralist, and boutique gallery owner- all of which are umbrellaed under her multifaceted creative brand, Stefanie Bales Fine Art. SBFA offers original  Fine Art painting, murals, a custom home and accessories product line,  educational services, and creative consulting for both residential and commercial clients across the globe.

Originally from Philadelphia, PA, Bales moved to San Diego, CA after graduating Cum Laude with a BFA degree in painting from the University of Delaware’s honors program. After a year working for a  La Jolla based Art Deco company, she returned to school to pursue her Masters degree in Educational Psychology and Art Therapy. Her time working with students with neurodiversities incidentally inspired her to begin exploring the visual representation of neurosciences and human subconsciousness, evident in her most recent bodies of work.

Bales taught at a local design college for over a decade prior to opening her gallery Stefanie Bales Fine Art, in the heart of Little Italy, San Diego, and pursuing her art practice and career full-time. Both Bales’ fine art and mural work have become staples in the San Diego community, with local clients that include the San Diego Downtown Partnership, Balboa Park, Belmont Park, Ansun BioPharma, Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa, San Diego Museum of Art,  Longfellow Real Estate, Greystar Real Estate Partners, and the Flower Hill Mall. Her work has been published extensively and is in both public and private collections across the country and internationally.

Stefanie Bales is a mom to two young boys, Weston, 8, and Rowan, 2, who are her greatest works of Art. 

Bales’ works will be on view at Sparks Gallery from October 22 – December 30, 2023 with an opening reception on Sunday, October 22, 2023 from 5-8pm.

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