COLORADO SPRINGS — A Poland native is bringing his wide range of artistry to Colorado Springs.

Metalworking, faux marbling, woodworking, painting, and murals are just some of Darek Sokol‘s talents that are now being found inside homes, businesses, and walls around southern Colorado.

Born in Jelenia Góra, which translates to “Deer Mountain,” Darek grew up in southwest Poland. His childhood was spent attending school and being surrounded by art.

According to Darek, his artistry was passed on to him by his grandmother, mother, and father. His grandmother spent many years showcasing handmade paintings to travelers at a nearby train station. His mother, although not professionally trained, dabbled in small paintings.

But many of Darek’s most impressive pieces were inspired by his father and their days spent together in a workshop.

“He was a self-taught artist, never had any schooling. For most of his life he was making something out of wood. He had a woodshop which I enjoyed visiting a lot times as a boy.”

In 1986, Darek began work at the National Restoration of Historical Monuments (PKZ). It was there that he learned the art of decorative plasterwork. Then, in 1999, Darek left his home country and moved to Chicago. He would later relocate to Phoenix and fall in love with Southwestern art and architecture.

Today, Darek calls Colorado Springs home.

FOX21 was given the chance to visit Darek’s home turned studio, which contains past projects, current projects, and glimpses of future endeavors.

Picture courtesy of Darek Sokol

Some of Darek’s most impressive work includes his amazing, albeit deceiving, armor pieces.

Made to look like authentic metal weaponry, Darek’s lifelike creations are anything but metal. Instead, they are made completely from wood.

“I didn’t have a forge, I didn’t have tooling for metalwork. So then I thought, ‘Wait a minute – I can faux finish wood to look like metal.'”

Darek’s talent doesn’t stop there. After spending years experimenting with different painting techniques, Darek now uses his own methods to create lifelike illusions. Faux marbling marks one of his favorite pastimes.

Although Darek is asked to create all sorts of masterpieces, murals remain his most popular request.

Mountains, forests, fairy trees, and blue skies now adorn homes across Colorado Springs and even homes in Poland. All of which are created by hand and completely unique.

As Darek continues his well-established artistry, some of his future goals include sculpting. FOX21 was able to get a sneak peek at some nearly-finished works and those that have yet to leave the ground. His latest undertaking? Realistic sculptures.

“To capture somebody’s likeness, or make the face a humane face, it was always a struggle,” Darek said. “I want to make a series of faces with extreme expressions. I want to have a face that screams, a face that cries.”

Darek not only offers unique pieces of art, he also gives basic home décor an artistic flair.

Custom, wood-carved mantels, shelves, and corbels are frequently requested by customers looking to enhance their homes. Each piece is handmade and worked upon until perfected.

Contact Darek

Darek is always looking for the next challenge to tackle. His contact information is available below.

Darek Sokol European Painter