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!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Monet's Passion

Monet's Passion
12 x 16 Oil Painting
By Pat Fiorello

Getting ready for the workshop in Giverny France, so revisiting some of my photo's from the last time I taught there.  The garden is somewhat of a paradox, at times it is peaceful and you get the sense of being in a sacred space and other areas are energetic, chaotic and often described as a "riot of color". Monet was highly involved in how and where things were planted, the color combinations.

At one point standing at the end of the bridge, I noticed if you looked across the garden there was a direct line to his front door. No accident I'm sure, all part of his vision and plan.

There are still some spot available if you'd like to join me and experience this artists dream come true for yourself.  The dates are June 4-11 and the workshop is open to artists of all experience levels and mediums. I'll be working in both oils and watercolors as far as demo's go.   For all the details click here. There is also a website with additional information and registration instructions.

If you'd like a glimpse of the garden, here is a short video of head gardener, James Priest talking about the garden. During the workshop we'll have a unique opportunity to hear more from James in a relaxed setting.

Sunday, February 22, 2015


16 x 16 Oil Painting
by Pat Fiorello
Named this one "Inspirare" which is from the Latin "to breath in" and is the root for the word inspiration. To breath life or spirit into something.  My husband gave me some gorgeous white roses for Valentine's Day and after being taken by their beauty and my appreciation for receiving them, my next thought was to paint them. And with flowers, you have to strike while the inspiration is there because they don't last for long. Thank you for your love and this inspiration Peter!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home
12 x 16
Watercolor by Pat Fiorello

Had to hold off sharing this one for awhile. I did a commission of a lovely home in the Virginia Highlands neighborhood of Atlanta as a surprise birthday gift.  The birthday was this week. Glad to hear the recipient was moved to tears. 

A painting can be a very special and meaningful gift and I love to do commissions for that very reason. Below is a photo of the home, taken a few weeks ago, so needed to use some artistic license to have it feel warm and sunny, more like springtime.

And yes, there is a little pup waiting at the front step for her owner to come home.

If you are interested in an unforgettable painting experience., I have 2 great opportunities coming up in 2015.

 First "Paint in Monet's Garden and the French Countryside" June 4-11, Info at:  .

The other is "Paint in Italy- Lake Garda" September 24- October 1. Early bird registration discount ends March 1!  Info at:

Space is limited so act now if you'd like to join in the fun!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Come paint in Monet's Garden June 4-11- 2 spaces just opened up!

Giverny Trellis
9 z 12 Oil Painting

Picture yourself painting on the hallowed grounds of Impressionism. Join me for a trip to paint in Monet's Garden and the surrounding countryside in Giverny France June 4-11. I just had 2 spots open up. One of them could be yours. Contact me for more info or click on this flyer for details.

To register see: artcolonygiverny

Open to artists of all mediums and experience levels.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Abstract II

Abstract II
5 x 8 Oil on Paper
by Pat Fiorello

This is the second in my series of abstract experiments ( I actually did it the same day as the previous one, but have been tied up for a few days so just getting to post this now).  Will continue to explore and share more experiments as I do them in between some of my more realistic work.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

And now for something completely different....

Abstract 1
5 x 8 oil on paper

In an effort to continue loosening up my artwork and moving more in an impressionistic direction, I've been working on composition and the abstract underpinning beneath my paintings.  I was challenged by an artist friend and mentor to swing the pendulum all the way to the extreme and try some abstract paintings -not necessarily as an end goal, but as an exercise to break free of realistic subject matter to focus only on design elements.

I have to admit this was pretty intimidating. After 20 years of painting if you give me something- a flower, a building, a landscape..., I can probably figure out how to portray it on canvas or paper. But creating something from nothing?  After resisting for a few days, I finally gave in last week and did about 10 small black, white and grey designs in my sketchbook. It was uncomfortable and I was reminded that it's new, so of course it's not comfortable.

Yesterday I decided to step it up a notch and try to do some abstract designs with paint and canvas paper.  I am not typically a procrastinator, but I could see I was putting it off as long as possible. I wondered, "What am I resisting? What am I afraid of?

So this was my first attempt to paint something based on no subject matter- only organizing shapes, values and color. At first it felt very strange, but once I got going, it was kind of freeing. When you paint something realistic, you have something to compare to. It gives you a sense of if you are 'in the ballpark" or not.  But here there is no standard to see if you "did it right". Maybe that is what was scary????

They say learning happens somewhere between the comfort zone and the panic zone- so perhaps we need to be motivated enough to go beyond what we know and courageous enough to take action in the face of what we don't know.

I will continue to experiment with these abstracts and see where it leads. Don't worry I haven't given up on my more realistic work, but I am using this as a way to further develop that work in possible new directions.

In the spirit of "no coincidences", I saw this posted today on Seth Godin's blog:

is fear.
We're all born creative, it takes a little while to become afraid.

A surprising insight: an enemy of fear is creativity. Acting in a creative way generates action, and action persuades the fear to lighten up.

So if you feel some fear ( in art...or life) maybe the best thing is to jump right in and trust you will learn how to swim. It might even be fun and freeing! And what's the worst that will happen. You use some art supplies. Consider it an investment in your education and development.
 Happy Painting!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Berried Treasure

Berried Treasure
6 x 12 Oil Painting
by Pat Fiorello

If you have been following along, this year I am experimenting with making my paintings a little looser. I bought these strawberries to do a study, trying to forget they are strawberries and just relate to them as "color-shapes" from which to design a painting.  Below is a photo of my original set up, followed by an earlier stage in the painting process where I simply reported the approximate colors, shapes, values. It is pretty uninspired. The above painting, "Berried Treasure" is the result of pushing the mundane into something hopefully a bit more interesting, suggesting some more berries a bit more abstractly in the upper right. losing some edges, varying the color intensities a bit.

I have to admit I struggled with this one. I think the finished piece is more interesting than the earlier phase below and I did learn some things I can apply to the next painting (always looking for the lesson in each painting).

I know people say subject doesn't really matter in painting and on one level I understand that. You are just paintings an abstract arrangement of values, colors, shapes edges etc..   However for me, subject does matter in terms of my excitement and energy for what I am painting. When I paint flowers or a beautiful sun-filled landscape I am excited, engaged and can't wait to get started painting.   I am energized by the beauty I see and want to capture and share my response. With subjects like these strawberries, or the pear I did earlier this year, I  notice I am less connected and excited about what I am painting so less involved . Perhaps at that point the painting becomes more of an intellectual exercise than felt from the heart and I think that comes thru in the finished work. I recall one time in a still life class the teacher brought in a rubber lobster. I sat there thinking of all the beautiful things in the world, why am I painting a fake lobster? ( At least it doesn't move, but I probably wouldn't want to paint a real lobster either).

So for now at least, I think I will stick with the subjects that I feel passion for and hope to convey that heartfelt joy and energy onto my canvases.

The still life set up
Work in Progress

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


12 x 16 Oil Painting
by Pat Fiorello

Completed demonstration painting from my workshop "Painting Flowers Alla Prima in Oils" last week.  I have lots of blue and white "props" for still life in various shapes and sizes and have been wanting to combine that with yellow flowers so this was an opportunity. I like the combination of yellow and blue. It has a warm, happy feeling to me.

If you missed the workshop and I have 2 additional opportunities that you might enjoy. One is coming up March 23-25 in Naples  Florida at the von Liebig Art Center  and the other is just a 2 day workshop at Ocean county Arts Guild in NJ.

More information can be found on their respective websites: Naples Art Association and OCAG.

There are still several spots open in the Monet's Garden workshop June 4-11 in Giverny France.  If you are interested please email me ASAP. The workshop is to artists of all mediums and experience levels.