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 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?


  1. Well done! I love how you pushed not only the warm/cool but the values as well. Quite dramatic:) The surface texture and edge variety is wonderful. I think the mystery and surprise in this is exciting to look at!

  2. Thanks so much for your feedback and encouragement Bruce. Especially appreciate that from a fellow artist.

  3. Good description of your decision making process! I really enjoyed this post, Pat!