Collection: Stephen Mirich

Stephen Eugene Mirich   (b. 1954)

Stephen Mirich's fascination for art started developing as early as four. His mother nurtured her son's interest in art and found a teacher that could provide a few lessons in watercolors when he was seven. He sold one of these watercolors to a family friend for ten dollars and hurried down to the local art store to buy a more professional set of water colors.  The local library also provided the young artist with stacks of art books and lessons from "How To" books. By age ten he had picked up techniques in watercolor, pen and ink, charcoal, and started experimenting with oils.

During these early years Mirich developed a love for sketching and painting outdoors which gave him the opportunity to make direct observations from nature. He entered one of these paintings (a watercolor of Point Fermin Lighthouse painted ‘en plein air’) in the junior division of his first major art competition at age fifteen. Due to the proficiency of his work he was placed in the adult division where he won Second Place. He followed this with numerous awards in local and regional shows and began exhibiting regularly in galleries.  He was active with the San Pedro Art Association during his teen years, becoming its president at nineteen.  He studied architecture in high school and college but soon turned his attention to a career in fine art.  He began painting full time, exhibiting with Howard Morseburg Galleries in Los Angeles and showing in galleries throughout the United States. 

Up to this time Mirich was essentially selftaught. His first formal training in art was under the noted artist, Theadore N. Lukits (1897 1992) at the Lukits Academy of Fine Art in Los Angeles and also private studies with Julian Ritter (1919 2000).  For the first twenty years of his professional career, Mirich specialized in historic maritime scenes and seascapes, which required much research and studio work.  This ultimately garnered him national recognition and Artist Membership in the American Society of Marine Artists. 

During the 80’s and 90’s he was spending more of his time painting out of doors, “en plein air” and expanding his subject matter. Mirich loves the challenge and the emotional response that painting nature on location brings to him.  At times you may find him huddled under an umbrella while painting the effects of snow and rain or using portable lights attached to his easel painting on into the night, or being pelted by the spray of waves crashing on rocks while painting his favorite subject of seascapes. He travels constantly for his inspirations as well as teaching his techniques to others.

In 1997 he co-founded the Portuguese Bend Artist Colony whose mission is to stimulate community involvement in land conservancy by capturing the beauty of open spaces through their paintings and recording it for future generations. Their many exhibitions have brought attention to open spaces threatened for development and successfully raised funds for the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy.

Stephen Mirich is a Life Member and Past President of the San Pedro Art Association, Signature Member of the California Art Club (established 1909) where he sits on the Advisory Board and served as Vice President (1997 2003).