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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Telling a story - “Painting a Compelling Still Life” at the Doris

 This past Thursday I did a fun workshop at the Doris Art and Cultural Center with artist Annie Pais.  Met lots of cool ladies and we worked on several pieces.  The top piece was a flower I took from my art friend, Roz Miller.  It was fun to do a pastel and pastel pencil drawing but I didn't really tell a story with that one.  The second one was more my finished piece.  Annie wanted us to write a short essay about our work so below is mine.

The idea when we began this Still Life project was to tell a story and to paint what you love.  Looking around my house I saw things I inherited from my family. The things I saw called out to me emotionally.  My mother recently passed away and she was the last of that generation in my family to go.

This painting invokes those memories in a way that expresses how my ancestors had respect and pride in the way they lived their lives.  Each item represents that idea.  The dignified picture of my grandmother, Santina Lanza, standing with my grandfather, Angelo Lanza, both impeccably dressed, and she was pregnant with my dad in the picture.  The shoeshine box my father kept with all the used brushes inside.  His shiny cuff links he wore every time he dressed to go out.  The last and most memorable, Angelo's magnificent Fedora hat....

My family of immigrants sailed on the ship, The Dora, in the steerage section, landed at Ellis Island, from small town in Italy. The other half of my family from Puerto Rico in the 1920's.

This rich heritage gives me inspiration for future paintings and lots of stories to tell.....

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