Pat Fiorello - Art Elevates Life

Art & Inspiration from professional artist and instructor Pat Fiorello. Pat is known for her romantic landscape, garden and floral paintings in oil and watercolor. Her paintings often depict beautiful places like Italy and France. Pat teaches painting workshops in the U.S., Caribbean and Europe. She is passionate about inspiring others to include art in their life. Whether creating it or simply appreciating and enjoying it, there are so many ways that art elevates life!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Patience -2

Patience - 2
12 x 16 Oil Painting
by Pat Fiorello
$650
Did a second version of the flowers shared in the last post. This time arranged different lighting and went with a lighter background.

Do you have a favorite- Patience 1 or 2? I can't decide.

Patience 1

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Patience- 1


Patience -1
16 x 20 Oil Painting
by Pat Fiorello
$1600
Ordered some David Austin "Patience" roses from the local wholesaler, "Cut Flowers" last week.  I figured "Patience" was fitting since that's what I've needed a lot of while I'm recovering form the accident. Now at week 10 of 12 that I need to be totally non-weight bearing on my left leg, then moving on to several months of physical therapy.    

I have to say this was one of the more challenging subjects I've painted.  The flowers are complex and I include the whole dozen. Probably a study of one or 2 might have been a good idea first, but when you have fresh flowers, the clock is ticking before they are gone, so I just jumped right in.

Below are the set up I arranged and a photo's of a few steps in the process.
I did a second version with a lighter background and will share that soon, but for this one I used overhead lighting and more of a mid-tone background for contrast.









If you love flowers, you may want to come join me on my upcoming workshop in June 2018 to "Paint the English Gardens " in Cornwall, England- Click link for details.


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Fearless Painting- Suncatchers revisited

Suncatchers -revisited
12 x 16 oil painting
I've had a pile of paintings in my studio that were complete but I thought I might be able to improve on them. That pile has been sitting there for at least a year and I've never touched it . I resisted it because I'm usually much more excited to start something brand new rather than finishing something already in progress.

But this month, since I've been recovering from my accident (for those just tuning in I was hit by an SUV while crossing the street in April),  I've started reaching into that pile of "fixer-uppers" with the intention of using them for experiments.  These small learning opportunities aren't be too time consuming since there is already an existing idea, composition there, and I'm just exploring possibilities to enhance what was already there.

Today I took out "Suncatchers" which I painted a couple of years ago inspired by a springtime photo I took at the NY Botanical Garden. The original version of Suncatchers is  pictured below. At the time I painted it, I liked it and I still do, but I was wiling to risk it to possibly learn something. My thought was that I could add more variety.  My intentions for this lesson were (1) push the color temperature variation a la Joaquin Sorolla who used really warm yellows in the sunlit areas and cools in the shadows. He is one of the masters of depicting a sensation of sunshine. (2) Experiment with the palette knife to get more mystery, texture and rich thick paint  and (3) Push a little further towards impressionism/looseness vs realism.

I intentionally did not look at any reference photos- just responded to the painting as an abstract design and where I wanted to have light, darks, hard edges, soft edges etc.. ( Before starting I did sand down any existing texture and then oiled out the canvas).

Original Suncatchers

Below is a close up of a little corner of the painting now which shows some of the thick paint and broken/soft edges.


Close-up of some texture in new version

In the end it was a fun afternoon, playing with paint, without any attachment. If I took a poll,  I'm sure some people would prefer the original and some would  prefer the new version, but for me the value was in the lesson and getting experience with handling the paint in some different ways.

Are you willing to risk good to potentially discover what might lead to great?


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Sunflowers- experimenting with the palette knife


Sunburst- Revisited
6 x 12 oil painting
by Pat Fiorello
$200
Doing some more experimentation with the palette knife. Took a painting I'd completed a couple of years back and sanded it down and decided to rebuild it using the palette knife mostly and a little bit of brushwork at the end.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Dreamy -White Roses- experimenting with the palette knife

Dreamy
 8x8 oil painting
by Pat Fiorello
$200
Was doing a little study of 3 roses from a photo. Did a little experimentation with a palette knife at the end to destroy some of what had been created.  Adds a little mystery, texture, edge variation.  Think I will continue to experiment with this. What do you think?

Monday, June 12, 2017

Cosmos

Cosmos
9 x 12 Oil Painting
by Pat Fiorello
$425


Recently visited a lavender farm in North GA. They also had a lovely colorful field of cosmos.

I decided to give it a try in a painting. It was a very complex field so there was a challenge to simplify, yet not lose part of the essence of this type of field that is inherently busy.

I started laying in the dark background and different greens of a lighter value that other foliage would be laid on top of at later stages.  I had toned the canvas with a light application of thinned transparent oxide red and viridian. I then took a paper towel and q tips soaked in gamsol (solvent) and lifted out where the flowers of pure color would go. So below is where I started to work on the flowers. Then it was a process of putting down shapes of color (that's what painting is) and refining and then coming on top of paint with lines, dots and dashes to suggest the busy-ness of the field.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Spray Roses


Spray Roses
12 x 16 oil painting
by Pat Fiorello
I have 3 general approaches for starting a painting and vary them based on my intention for the painting, the needs of the subject matter, or sometimes just the mood I'm in.    Sometimes I do a hybrid approach to combine the best of the methods. So there is no particular formula that is right. There are countless ways to create a painting.

For this one I decided to try an approach that I use least- that is to paint in  midtones and dark all over the canvas and then wipe out where my lighter flower shapes will be.  


I had these spray roses as subject. Didn't want to have them in the vase, but wanted to give more of a "gardeny" feel.

Here's the painting blocked in and then with the light shapes wiped out.
  
Then started to tone the shadow areas of the light flowers, add lights and further refine shapes.

I purposely did not want to spell out an exact rendering of each flower, but developed what I wanted as the center of interest further and left other areas just suggested.



Sunday, June 4, 2017

Garden Spot

Garden Spot
6 x 8 Oil Painting
by Pat Fiorello
$100

Took an old painting, sanded it down, oiled it out and then rebuilt the paint strokes with thicker paint. Kind of fun to do or a change. There's already a design and basic values blocked in so you get to play with color, brushstrokes and thicker paint.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Flowing


Flowing
 12 x 16 Oil Painting
 Continuing with my "Garden Fresh" series of flowers on plants in the garden, as opposed to arranged in a still life,  is my newest painting, "Flowing".

Of course I loved the abundant cluster of these beautiful garden roses, but also liked the idea of them flowing down, like a waterfall.



Here's a photo of what I originally saw ( If I recall correctly,  this was from a trip to Tuscany where flowers were growing against a stone wall).

I took a black and white version of the photo and added my own white and light grey magic marker on top of it for light shapes I wanted to add to improve the composition, especially in the top area which is kind of empty in the original photo. Then eliminated some shapes that were unnecessary or distracting ( e.g. in the lower right corner). From there, proceeded with painting "Flowing" (pictured above).



Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Garden Fresh II


Garden Fresh II
 9 x 12 Oil Painting

I recently revisited the painting below which I never really finished or more likely just gave up on probably a couple of years ago. Typically I don't like to go back and rework past paintings. I much prefer the excitement of starting something new. 

However, the other day I picked this one up, sanded down any texture from thick, dried paint and applied a thin coat of linseed oil. 

I decided to alter the type of roses, shapes and composition a bit. First reestablished the general areas of light and dark and then continued to refine things from there. The end point was Garden Fresh II , pictured above, which I am much happier with. Glad I decided to give this one another shot.



Monday, May 29, 2017

Rose Study #5

Rose Study #5
6 x 6 oil painting

A simple study of  a white rose, done from life a few weeks back.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Rose Study #4

Rose Study 4
8 x 6 Oil painting
$100
  Buy with PayPal

A study of a rose I had done a couple of months back, but never had the chance to post.  I find form time to time, it's fun to go back to something simple-like  a study of an individual flower- as a break from a more complex painting and an opportunity to really look at the anatomy of a flower.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Garden Delight, watercolor demo

Garden Delight
9 x 9 watercolor
$100
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"Garden Delight" is a watercolor version of a similar painting I've done before in oils.  I did  this as a  quick demonstration /"paint- along" in my recent Painting Flowers in Watercolor class.

  
The first step before starting the painting was to examine and simplify the values within the scene. I actually took a black and white photocopy of the original photo and identified 4 large value masses: the lightest,(the sunlit peonies,) next lightest(sunlit tabletop), midtones (the shadows of the flowers and tabletop and the leaves)  and darkest (the background which provided a foil to contrast the light flowers).

 Once we had a value road map, I put down a warm glaze of a few different colors as an under painting to provide warmth underneath the background foliage which would be finished later when we go to the stage of adding the darks.  Used transparent colors- indian yellow, quinacridone gold , maybe a touch of burnt siena or quinacridone burnt orange.



Next added in shadows on flowers, tabletop and green leaves which are lighter than the dark green background will ultimately be.











 Continuing to work in a progression
from light to dark added in a rich green , varied background over the now dried warm underpainting.

To finish from here, made some subtle transitions and softer edges bridging the shadow and light areas of the peonies, glazed over the vase and did some fine tuning of shapes and edges to complete "Garden Delight" pictured at the top of this blog post.



Monday, May 22, 2017

Garden Fresh

Garden Fresh
8 x 8 Oil Painting
by Pat Fiorello
 $200
Buy with PayPal

Been enjoying doing some paintings lately that focus on a few blossoms up close in a garden setting.  I plan to continue exploring this further in a series I'm calling "Garden Fresh"

Friday, May 19, 2017

Trailing Roses- A Study and 2 new Garden Workshops for 2018

Trailing Roses- A Study
8 x 10 oil painting
NFS


My intention for this painting was just to have fun as I get back into the studio since my accident 5 weeks ago. Wanted roses to have some depth and specificity but also to keep some areas, particularly as you near the edges, loose and suggested.   

I did base some of the roses loosely on a published photo and made changes to the composition in some areas, but still this study is not for sale just to be respectful of the photographers copyright.  Just a warm up and learning exercise for me.  It was fun to do and you know I love roses so expect to see more like this in the future.


I will be teaching 2 exciting workshops in 2018- both garden related. "Painting Villas and Gardens of Italy" and "Painting English Gardens" in Cornwall, England.  Contact me for details if interested or visit here for Italy or here for England  If you are a flower lover, one of these trips might be a dream vacation /learning experience for you. Both workshops are filling up and space is limited, so please be in touch soon if interested.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Starting Over

Starting Over
12 x 16 Oil Painting

First painting attempted after my accident last month. Painted a simplified version of the "get well bouquet" some of my students sent to me. Wasn't able to focus for long, but at least it's a start.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Joyful Inspiration

Joyful Inspiration
12 x 16 Oil Painting
 SOLD



A painting inspired by one of my "get well" bouquets. A lovely collection of peonies, sunflowers, hydrangea, delphinium and other flowers.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Bursting with Love

"Bursting with Love"
16 x 20 Oil Painting
by Pat Fiorello
SOLD
The latest of my "Forever  Bouquet Paintings" going to a beautiful bride, Caity, in Florida.

This romantic garden style bouquet was created by floral designer Sue Bain of Signature Florals in Fort Myers Florida. She did an absolutely breathtaking job with the selection and variety of flowers and textures. You can learn more about Sue's services at: http://www.signature-florals.com/.

To see more of my bridal bouquet paintings, visit http://patfiorello.com/wedding_bouquet

Contact me if you'd like to commission a painting as a gift for someone you love.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Synergy

Synergy
12 x 12 Oil Painting
by Pat Fiorello



When painting flowers  in oil, I typically follow one of two general methods. One I will call an impressionist approach ( I was first introduced to it by Hedi Moran and later learned a similar method while studying with Ovanes Berberian).   The other, is what I will call a traditional approach, which I learned studying with Dennis Perrin.

Both approaches are effective and enjoyable.  I've done studies in the past on the same subject painting it with one method and then painting a 2nd version the other way to see how different the results actually are. 

Over the years, I've actually done the same painting using several different methods a few times,  each time expecting to see a vast difference in the outcome. Frankly,  while the process is different, there really isn't that much of a difference in the final outcome on the canvas.  Maybe part of that is you are the same artist, with the same brushstrokes, color tendencies etc.. So I've pretty much concluded,  you have to have a strong composition, clean colors, careful planning of and attention to values and a variety of edges plus what I'll call the X factor ( which is your own passion, excitement for the subject and personal vision/ intention for the painting- why you decided to paint it) to have a strong result.  All methods eventually address each of these areas,  some just emphasize a particular aspect or sequence things differently. So at the end of the day, you get to a pretty similar place, you might just have taken a different route.

What I did for this particular experiment was explore what would happen if I  combine the 2 methods. In other words, bring together the best aspects of each of my 2 favorite methods. The impressionist approach stresses color first with bold, transparent loose underpaintings and the traditional approach emphasizes simple abstract value shapes allowing for refinement of color later in the process.

Below are some steps along the way in attempting to combine elements of both approaches into my own approach. It may have added another step to the overall process, but I was pleased with the outcome and felt it gave me the best of both worlds to combine the 2 approaches.

I think if I would have tried this as I was initially learning either method it might have been overwhelming to combine different methods, but since I've been painting with both approaches for awhile, it took some concentration, but was manageable. 

So if you are new to painting, you may want to stick with one approach to build that muscle and confidence and then build on that by experimenting with other methods. No matter what be patient. Some of these experiments work, some don't and you end up scraping off a lot of paint and starting all over again. But the more your experiment, the more you will learn and the more tools and confidence you will have in tackling any painting subject you desire.
Who knows what you may discover?

Happy Painting!