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!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tuscan Vineyards

Tuscan Vineyards
9 x 12
Oil Painting
by Pat Fiorello

Hope everyone had a good holiday. I haven't been painting this week with all the holiday activities, but did this one last week. Starting a new series 
" Enchanting Italy" for a show coming up in March. This is one from my Tuscany trip this past May.

 I'll be leading another workshop in Tuscany in October 2012 so will get to see Tuscany in a new season.  If you are interested in going on a painting trip to Italy check out this link for details or email me at

There's an early bird discount on registrations by 12/31/11, so if interested, still time to check it out this week.
 Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Will You Believe Artist Myths or Be Responsible for Your Own Success in 2012

The Lily Pond
12 x 12
Oil Painting by Pat Fiorello

A fried of mine, Aletta de Wal, is the founder of Artists Career where she offers products and services to help artists "make a better living making art".  She and I share an enthusiasm for shattering the "starving artist" myth and we have worked on several teleclass and ebook projects to help artists create their own success. There is no reason for artists to suffer and struggle in the name of their art, when knowing and taking action on some practical approaches, and then being persistent over time, can lead to success. Recently Aletta  published a newsletter dispelling some other artist myths. Click on Artist Myths to see tips.

Consider sometimes myths are convenient to keep around because they allow us to blame something or someone else or circumstances and not be responsible for our own actions ( or lack of action) and  results.

Aletta is also author of the upcoming book:
"My Real Job is Being an Artist - What You Should Know Before you Quit Your Day Job (or Get One)"
which is due to be released Winter 2012.

 I had the honor of  reading and providing feedback on a recent draft. I have read and own many art marketing books, but hers is by far the most substantive and comprehensive book I've seen on the topic. It delivers no nonsense, practical guidance for artists. I look forward to re-reading it when it comes out and will keep you posted on the release once a firm date is set.

 In the meantime, this time of year is always a great time to reflect back on what you accomplished this past year, lessons learned and then create goals for the new year. It's easy to forget what we accomplished over the course of the whole year,. We also may miss the big picture when we are looking at what's coming up next. 

 Looking back on the year, I feel grateful for having set a clear plan with goals like getting into another gallery outside Georgia( I did get into a new gallery, the Spencer Gallery in Charleston  SC as well as a second new gallery The Art House in Atlanta), studying with some excellent instructors
( including Robert Johnson, Dan Edmonson and Hedi Moran at the Scottsdale Artists School) and painting lots to build my "brush mileage" and skills in oils comparable to my watercolors ( painted over 150 oil paintings) as well as led 2 painting workshops in Italy and my other ongoing classes and workshops. I ended up having my best year yet, despite the challenges of the economy.

Often people ask me how I can get so much done- and it is not anything magical or special. It really starts with a plan. If you don't know where you want to go- how will you get any there? Having a plan really helps to keep me focused and also to say no to opportunities that sound intriguing but  might really just distractions from the things that are most important to me.

If you haven't set your goals for 2012, I'd encourage you to find an hour of time between now and the end of the year and  get out a a clean sheet of paper. Imagine yourself at the end of next year looking back- What 3-5 things would you be most satisfied with having accomplished? Write them down. Try to be as specific as possible. If you are genuinely committed to those outcomes( not just a "hope" or "try", then work back and see what actions you'd need to take to get there. Then as Nike says- Just do it! Having a plan in writing that you can see on a regular basis will help you stay focused and true to your dreams.

Happy Holidays and best wishes for a new year that's filled with art, success and whatever''s most important to you!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Christmas Carol

For Me?  Silver & Gold
6 x 8
Oil Painting
by Pat Fiorello

Well we are fully in the swing of the holiday festivities. I spent the past few days exhibiting as the featured artist at the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta.  For those of you not from Atlanta, it's like our own smaller version of the Lincoln Center-  an arts campus with Theatre, Symphony and the High Museum- the arts center of the city.

The Alliance Theatre performed their holiday classic "A Christmas Carol" and the Symphony featured the Holidays Pops. There were lots of other musical performances in the spirit of the season and families taking pictures in front of the big Christmas tree. 

Here I am with Scrooge ( aka actor John Curren)  in front of  the display with some of my paintings in the main lobby.

The "Gallery in the Galleria" is a program sponsored by  Digital Arts Studio  with a portion of the proceeds going to support the Alliance Theatre where they allow local artists to showcase their artwork.  My work is more traditional in nature, so I thought it would be a perfect venue for meeting new people who have an affinity for the Arts. I've already had several happy people go home with new paintings and will be there today too for both the matinee and evening shows.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Morning Light

Morning Light
12 x 12
Oil Painting
by Pat Fiorello

This image was based on a  photo I took in Italy earlier this fall.  Not what you might expect of  a typical Italian scene- but I just couldn't resist the lighting. It was a simple garden floral arrangement left over from the previous night's dinner that was still on our breakfast table the next morning. The natural light streaming thru the window created a beautiful play of light and reflections on the table.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Holiday Flowers II

Holiday Flowers II
6 x 6
Oil Painting
by Pat Fiorello

Did another version similar to my last post. It's interesting when you do the same subject a 2nd time. Sometimes it turns out better because you learned something from the first one. But other times there's a tradeoff in less spontaneity compared to your original response. Perhaps you lose your initial intuitive impulse, over think it or are just more tired  so less energy shows up in the painting. In this case I think I like the original better in terms of freshness and bolder brushwork. Maybe the third time   (if there is one) will be the charm.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Holiday Flowers 1

Holiday Flowers I
6 x 6
Oil Painting
by Pat Fiorello

Getting into the holiday spirit, thought I'd do a little" mini "of white flowers with red berries, just to practice some brushwork. Havent been paintings as much the past couple of weeks due to other holiday activities and shows. Its' amazing how fast you feel like you've lost your touch and need to get back in practice. It's all about the "brush mileage".
 I will be getting some new flowers tomorrow and hope to arrange them and have some time to paint in the afternoon while they are still at their freshest.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Hydrangeas & Delphinium

Hydrangeas & Delphiniums
8 x 10
Oil Painting
by Pat Fiorello

I tried my hand at an oil painting version of the same set up I did  in watercolor for my demonstrations at the Art House Gallery in Buckhead, Atlanta, GA back in September ( see post on Sept 20 in blog archives ).
Of course the fresh flowers I used for the demonstration painting are long gone, but I did take a photo to work from.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

White Hydrangeas and Red Pansies

White Hydrangeas and Red Pansies
12 x 12
 Oil Painting
by Pat Fiorello

 Did some holiday decorating shopping at Pikes Nursery in Atlanta this weekend. Got the usual tree, wreath, poinsettias but couldn't pass up this white hydrangeas. Also bought a flat of pansies for outside and combined the two for a holiday feel. Did a quick still life set up of the flowers before the pansies got planted.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Italian Bouganvillea

Limone Flowers
6 x 8
Oil Painting
by Pat Fiorello

This was a small study for possibly a larger painting somewhere down the line. It's based on a photo from my recent trip to Lake Garda in northern Italy.  This was a street in a wonderful town  called Limone on the northern end of Lake Garda. It had an abundance of bougainvillea - even in late September.

The bougainvillea is always a challenging color to capture- -it's not really purple. I tried  few combinations on my own that didn't quite get it, but then I referred to my color charts and saw that magenta  plu permanent rose plus white came pretty close.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Tuscany- Beyond the Poppies

Beyond the Poppies
6 x 8
Oil Painting
by Pat Fiorello

I've been focused on primarily florals and still life's lately while doing my challenge of 50 floral 
paintings, but do want to get back into some landscapes as well for a new series I'll be working on in 2012 called "Enchanted Italy".  I decided to get back in the landscape mode by doing a little "mini" study of a painting I had done in larger from earlier this year. This one was based on some photo's I put together from a trip to Tuscany where we visited the poppy fields. I liked the idea of looking beyond the fields to the villa in the distance. The villa wasn't exactly placed in the right spot, so using artistic license, I moved it to where I wanted it in the composition.

If you have always wanted to paint in Tuscany, please contact me at I'll be returning for my 5th year to teach another workshop in 2012. Click here for details.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Still Life : Spode & Cherries

Spode & Cherries
12 x 16 
Oil Painting
 by Pat Fiorello

 I bought this Spode china vase in an antique shop in NJ a few months ago and have wanted to include it in a still life set up. I like the delicate orchids and branch that lead you to the vase. I had a real one for the original set up, but also found a pretty good silk orchid branch at Michaels to use as a "stand in" for future set ups if I don't have real orchids available.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Take time to smell the roses

Roses & Snaps
6 x6

Oil Painting
by Pat Fiorello

Today's study is a simple bouquet of yellows, pinks & whites. Sometimes I just find a color palette I like and then try to get flowers that fit that. This light combination of colors has a soft, romantic feel.
 With Thanksgiving upon us, it's a good reminder to take time to smell the roses in life- the people, places and things your are grateful for. 

 Thank you for  following my blog and sharing what I'm up to with my art. It is a personal joy to make art, but it makes a difference to share it with others too.
Hope everyone has a Thanksgiving filled with love and gratitude.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Hydrangea Study

Hydrangea Study
6 x 6
Oil Painting
by Pat Fiorello

Just a little quickie today to work on loose brushstrokes- practice, practice, practice.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Tuscan Pottery

Tuscan Pottery
6 x 6
Oil Painting
by Pat Fiorello

 I bought this beautiful hand made ceramic cup in a small town near Radda in Chianti when I was in Tuscany earlier this year with the intention of using it in still life set ups.  I finally got around to taking it out to paint this week. Before arranging a full set up, I thought I'd just start with this small study of the cup without any other elements to get a handle on how to approach it. Since it's a painting of something that's already hand painted I thought it might pose some challenges.  It was a lot harder than this little innocent cup looks . The shape is tricky and had to be readjusted several time and I am not sure I ever really got it exactly. The suggestion of the hand painting was actually the easier part compared to trying to capture the overall shape and form. I'm glad I tried it a simple study first before complicating matters even further. Look for it again in some upcoming still life paintings- maybe with some fruit and flowers next time.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Scottsdale Artists School Show, Painting Flowers Alla Prima

I was excited to learn that one of my paintings, Sunflower Morning, shown below, was accepted into the "The Best & The Brightest" Show at the Scottsdale Artists School. This is an annual juried show  open to anyone who has studied at the school in the past year. I was there earlier this year studying with Hedi Moran. She was wonderful. The show runs from Jan- March 2012.  If you happen to be in Scottsdale during that time you might want to check it out. I saw the show this year and there were some really magnificent pieces. The show is pretty competitive to get in so I was honored to have a painting included.

I'm also excited to announce that  I will be teaching a new workshop in March 2012 in Atlanta- Painting Flowers " Alla Prima" in oil. Details are listed in the announcement below. Feel free to share with anyone who might be interested.

Flowers Alla Prima
Oil Painting Workshop with Pat Fiorello

This 2-day workshop will help you to approach painting flowers directly in oil with a loose, fresh, soft approach. There will be demo’s, studies and instruction (including understanding and simplifying flower shapes and form, and mixing color for flowers and foliage, among other topics) and guidance while you paint from Pat. We will be working from your own fresh flower set-ups.

Pat is known for her romantic landscape, garden and floral paintings that have a soft, impressionistic feel. She has had over a dozen solo shows including shows at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia and Callaway Gardens. Passionate about flowers, Pat has studied floral arranging design at the Halls Design School.  She teaches painting workshops in the U.S., Caribbean and Europe, including a past workshop at Monet’s Garden in Giverny, France.

Supply list to be provided.

Saturday & Sunday 3/17-18, 2012
Workshop fee: $300
Students- minimum 5, maximum 15
The Art School at Sandy Springs ( specific location tbd - either Sandy Springs or a nearby Atlanta location)
To register contact Donna Thomas at or 678-755-1079

Monday, November 14, 2011

Flower Study #50

Flower Study # 50
Pinks & Greens
6 x 6
Oil Painting by Pat Fiorello

This is the last of the series of 50 floral studies that I embarked on earlier this summer. This little one I did with a 45 minute timer on as an exercise to keep it simple and not overwork it.

 All 50 have now been posted on my blog, mostly during Aug- Oct of this year.

You can also see most of them all in one place on my DAILY PAINTWORKS GALLERY where many are available for sale. If you see one that you are interested in, feel free to get in touch with me at

 I actually laid out all 50 in sequence on the floor to see how the paintings had evolved, the experiments I tried and what I had learned along the way.

 It has been a fun challenge and I am now ready to embark on a new sereis which I'm calling "Fresh from the Garden". The focus will still be flowers and I'll still do some small studies, but will shift more towards some larger pieces for upcoming shows. Stay tuned. I'll share them as I complete new work.

 I will also be teaching a new 2 day oil painting workshop in Atlanta in 2012- Flowers Alla Prima. For more information see The Art School in Sandy Springs and  click on the March calendar.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

2012 Painting Workshop in Tuscany

Vagliagli Villa
by Pat Fiorello

This is a painting of a Villa in a small town called Vagliagli, near where I have been going each year to teach a painting workshop. I typically go in the Spring, but for 2012 I decided to change things up a bit and see Tuscany in the fall.

We stay at a beautiful 12th century monastery which has been restored to modern first class lodging accommodations while retaining and old world authenticity. The views are spectacular and we have our own chef who cooks for us in an authentic Tuscan manner, including of course, plenty of vino from the local Chianti Region.

 The workshop will be October 13-20, 2012. It is open to artists of all mediums and experience levels.
Please contact me at if you are interested joining us for a painting dream vacation.

For more information see Paint Tuscany

Our home base in Italy San Fedele, not far from Siena.
To see a slide show of the rooms and surroundings click on facilities

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Flower Study #49

Flower Study # 49
Yellow Roses & Oranges
6 x 6
Oil Painting
by Pat Fiorello

This was a fun little arrangement I painted from my imagination based on  keeping within the yellow- orange-green color grouping. As good as it is to work form life, sometimes it's just fun to make something up.
We're at #49- one more to go in my 50 Floral Studies Challenge.
Stay tuned.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Flower Study #48- Poinsettias

Flower Study #48
6 x 8
Oil Painting
by Pat Fiorello

Starting to get in the holiday spirit, I decided to try a small study of poinsettias.They were harder than I expected and I scraped this down a couple of times before ending up here. Part of the issue was working from a photo that didn't have great light. Maybe once I can get some live poinsettias this season I'll do a set up from life.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Flower Study #47 - Giverny Morning

Flower Study #47
Giverny Morning
9 x 12
Oil Painting
by Pat Fiorello

This is one I've wanted to paint for a long time.  I took a photo of these floral arrangement sitting in front of a window in the place I was staying at in Giverny France about 4 years ago. I was teaching a workshop at Monet's Garden and staying a a French country house run by Art Study Giverny. The colors are change from my usual palette. I simplified the background out the window quite a bit from what was really there as I just wanted that as backdrop and atmosphere with the real focus on the flowers particularly the larger purple one.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Paint in France

Monet's Church, Giverny France
22 x 30
by Pat Fiorello

The painting pictured here is one I did inspired by my last trip to France where I taught a workshop at Monet's Garden. I've been mostly focused on teaching in the US and Italy the past few years, but will be making another trip to teach again in France in Summer 2012. This time I'll be going to the Champagne Region and can take up to 7 workshop participants. Artists of all mediums and experience levels are welcome to participate.

 We are staying the the beautiful
 La Bonne Etoile Artists RetreatLa Bonne Etoile is located 60 miles southeast of Paris, in the small village of Fontaine-Fourches. 

Details can be found on the flyer on my website at:

or contact me directly at

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Flower Study #46 Roses in Tuscany

Flower Study #46
Roses in Tuscany
6 x 6
Oil Painting 
by Pat Fiorello

This is the latest in my series of flowers paintings.  Decided to try another one that combines flowers and some background landscape. This is from a reference photo I had from the workshop I taught in Tuscany this past spring. The flowers on the table were so pretty. They were grown in the garden of the place we were staying. I brought them out on the balcony to shoot them in natural sunlight with the beautiful Tuscan countryside in the distance.

I'm planning to go back to teach another workshop in Tuscany in October 2012. I'll be sharing more information about this painting opportunity in the next few weeks, but if you have an interest, please contact me at

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

10 Minute Challenge "Strawberry x 4"

"Strawberry x 4"
6 x6 Oil Painting
by Pat Fiorello

Today I took on a "challenge" sponsored by Daily Paintworks.
 The challenge was to set a timer and paint one object in 10 minutes. Then do it again, for a total of 4 times. I picked a strawberry . It was more fun and less daunting then I might have thought to keep your painting time to 10 minutes. It does force you to be selective and only get in what's most important. Could be a good warm up exercise on a regular basis.

To see other paintings I have listed, click on DailyPaintWorks gallery .

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Flower Study #45 Geraniums in Italy

Flower Study 45
Geraniums in Italy
6 x 8
Oil Painting
by Pat Fiorello

After my recent trip to Italy, I decided to include a little landscape setting as backdrop to this recent flower study. This is an oil version of one of the paintings I did while teaching a workshop at Lake Garda in Northern Italy in late Sept.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Painting Fall Trees

Fall Gold
9 x 12

Yesterday, I taught a workshop at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, GA with a focus on Painting Fall Trees. Above is a quick watercolor demo I did for the class. the colors werent' quite at peak yet, but there were still some fun fall colors to paint. Below are some photo's of trees, one of my students painting and some bright autumn mums that might be a fun future painting. it started out a bit cold, but turned into a beautiful day to be outdoors inspired by nature.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Flower Study #44 Classic Lilies

Flower Study #44
Classic Lilies
12 x 16
Oil Painting on Panel
by Pat Fiorello

I had done a painting a few days ago of one of my floral arrangements from my flower design class. After looking at it on screen, I realized that I had really reduced the size of the lilies and it had lost something in the translation. ( See flower study #40). So I decided to give it another go.

 Instead of using the exact same arrangement, I used another similar arrangement which is pictured below.

 The flowers are long gone, but I did have a photo. The colors in the photo appeared much yellower than I liked, so I made some adjustments to tone it down.

 I'm glad I decided to do it again, I'm much happier with the painting the 2nd time around.

To see others in my floral series or to buy paintings on line visit Daily Paint Works.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Still Life Painting : Oriental Vase and Oranges

Oriental Vase & Oranges
9 x 12
Oil Painting
by Pat Fiorello

Decided to take a break from the flower studies for a day and did one of the still life lessons from an on line study program I have been doing this year with Dan Edmonson.

 In his program, Dan supplies the photo's of some great still life set ups along with an on line video( and  permanent copy on CD) . There are 10 lessons in his still life series and he also has a similar landscape series available. The lessons build on each other and get progressively more challenging.

This was number 8 of the series of 10 and it was definitely challenging. In hindsight, I wished I had done it on a bigger canvas.  I could have used larger brushstrokes in describing each of the elements since there is a lot going on on this small canvas.

These classical dark style still lives are probably not my personal style, but they have been great training.  Dan is an excellent and generous instructor who consistently provides spot on feedback. I have really enjoyed and learned a lot from his instruction and would highly recommend you check his programs out.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Flower Study #43 Loosening up

                                                                         Flower Study #43
                                                                                   9 x 12
                                                                     Oil Painting on Panel
                                                                           by Pat Fiorello

For this painting, I focused on trying to get a looser feel, with a bit more movement. I did more of a close up vignette rather than a full still life or painting including a vase. Kept the background simple, with some of the toned canvas visible. Plan to do more in this direction, continuing to contrast hard vs soft edges.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Flower Study 42- Grand Bouquet

Flower Study # 42
Grand Bouquet
16 x 20
Oil Painting on Panel
by Pat Fiorello

If you read my last blog, you saw the flowers we put together the last day of  flower design class to simulate what might be needed for a wedding. This was one of the large altar pieces that I arranged. It was very large, so when I brought it home, I tried it out on a larger canvas than most of my other studies.

Here's the original inspiration.

Here's the initial block in to establish general placement

This is the next phase putting in an underpainting for the background. After this stage , I started building the forms of the flowers and added more opaques to the background to suggest a neutral lighter backdrop

Monday, October 10, 2011

Flower Study 41- Flowing Roses, Wedding Flowers

Flower Study #41
Flowing Roses
9 x 12
Oil Painting on Panel
by Pat Fiorello

I had an arrangement of flowers that  was an unusual project in my flower design class. The last day of class we did flowers for a wedding. The full deal- bouquets, altar flowers, even flowers to decorate a gazebo which we had set up in the classroom. We also made" pew markers" -flowers that go on the aisle in a church for a wedding. The arrangement was one sided so that it could flatly rest against the side of a pew. I liked the color harmonies of subtle pinks and off whites, so I decided to do a study of this flower grouping.
 Th nature of it was flowing, so I decided to use this as an opportunity to try to keep it really loose and capture a feeling of energy and movement.

Here is the photo of the inspiration, as well as some other fun photo's from our last day of class creating the wedding flower arrangements.

A large arrangement suitable for the altar at a wedding

Here I am in the gazebo we decorated

The final day of flower design class, my 5 classmates, and I staged flowers for an entire wedding
I'm working on a larger painting of the larger altar piece in the urn and will post that later this week.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Flower Study #40

Floral Study #40
Lilies in Classic Urn
Oil Painting on Panel
by Pat Fiorello

This is another in the series based on floral arrangements I did in floral design school.
                                                                 Here's the original inspiration:

I'm not too wild about lilies ( compared to some of my other favorite flowers like roses, hydrangeas, delphinium etc..) and the lilies seemed pretty big in the real arrangement, so I made them smaller in the painted version.  I do think it lost something in translation so this may be one to try over. I just happened to watch the Daniel Keys video on painting lilies yesterday and after seeing that may have some new approaches on handling the big lily.

This was the symmetrical version of this arrangement, but there is also an asymmetrical oen that might be a bit more dynamic composition for painting.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Flower Study #39

Flower Study #39
6 x 6
Oil Painting on Panel
by Pat Fiorello
A quick study of a petite vase with a large rose, spray roses and white stock

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Painting in Italy

I just returned home from teaching a workshop in Northern italy. I had a group of 12 students from various places in the US with me. We met in Milan and spent a couple of days there, then spent the rest of the week in a small town on Lake Garda.
Below is a demonstration painting I did the first day of the cloistered monastery where we stayed.

San Tomasso
Gargnano Italy
12 x 16 Watercolor
by Pat Fiorello

Here are some other photo's from the workshop.