Hello, Wolfango! Can you tell me a little bit about how you first got interested in art and what led you to become a painter?
Of course! When I was in elementary school, my teacher Mr Leone showed some of my drawings to his wife, an art teacher at a middle school. She was really impressed, and that got me interested in art. I started painting with tempera at first, but I didn’t like it very much because of how it dried and became rough. When I was 14, I started attending Liceo Artistico, which is a kind of vocational college in Italy that focuses on art. My first attempt at oil painting wasn’t very successful, but I kept at it and eventually developed a deep connection with landscapes and impressionism.
That’s really interesting. Can you walk me through your process for creating a painting, from the initial idea to the finished product?
Sure. First, I spend a lot of time choosing the subject and finding inspiration. This usually takes up about 40% of my time on a painting. Then I decide on the support I want to use – I prefer paper or panel for more miniature paintings and stretched canvas for larger ones. I stretch each canvas by hand and prefer linen over cotton. For miniature paintings, I use panels like Ampersand Gessobord. I start by painting thin mid-tone washes to define the composition, then focus on the sky and clouds using a top-down approach. I add layers upon layers, starting with darker colours and moving to lighter touches. I use W&N Liquin as a medium.
That’s a detailed process. What motivates you to keep creating, and how do you handle creative blocks?
My motivation comes from how much appreciation I get for my work. It can be demotivating when I don’t sell any paintings for a while. I get “blocked” when my work is observed superficially when the observer does not engage. That can have a “mojo”-destroying effect on me.
I can see how that would be frustrating. Have you ever faced any particularly challenging projects or setbacks in your career?
Yes, the most challenging project was working for a gallery a few years ago. I left several paintings with them on trust and never heard back from them. The gallery had some financial troubles and closed down, I’ve never managed to get my paintings back. It’s been difficult to trust other galleries since then.
I’m sorry to hear that. What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out as an artist?
My advice would be to ask yourself if you really believe in what you’re doing. If you have any doubts about your path in the art field, it’s important to think hard before embarking on such a career, which can be rewarding but also difficult and challenging. It’s also important to be able to handle a variety of tasks and responsibilities, as artists often have to wear many hats and take on multiple roles in order to succeed.