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, October 31, 2013

Why Beauty Matters

Monet's Wisteria-original study
8 x 10 Oil Painting
by Pat Fiorello
Last week I was working on a painting of Monet's Garden. I started using a different approach than I typically do. Instead of laying down transparent colors I started with darks all over then lifted away the lights.

 I wasn't too happy with how it was coming along but wasn't quite sure what was missing. But instead of struggling with no direction, I went back and did another version with the approach I use most often and completed that one which I shared in my post on 10/23.

 With that one in hand, I went back and compared the 2 and was able to see how to continue on with the first version. The revised version 1 is shown here.
Often finding a solution is not a direct path as in the case of this painting.

The other day I came across an excellent video by BBC where philosopher Roger Scruton presents a provocative essay on the importance of beauty in the arts and in our lives. Here's the link  if you are interested in learning more on the subjectWhy Beauty Matters. Enjoy!


  1. Thanks for your commentary on your process. I like both paintings but agree the first one posted above is better. I am a little confused about starting just with darks on the one you said wasn't beginning with transparent colors. I find most of the darks to be transparent.

    1. There are a couple of ways that I usually get started. The most typical is to block in shapes with transparents in the color of the object being painted . For example might use Indian yellow for the overall shape of a lily,in this case purples for where the wisteria will be placed. Another approach is to put down darks( which are likely comprised of transparents eg ultramarine blue,transparent oxide red etc. mixed for a neutral dark base ) and then lift out the area where lights will go. The first is using transparents for more of a color block in, the second is more of a value block in. You eventually arrive at a similar place because ultimately you are painting shapes of color,value with hard or soft edges, but how you get there is just a different path. It's good to try different approaches to stretch out of your comfort zone. Hope that clarifies things.