Delaware Valley Art League
All images courtesy of the artist
Monthly Meeting and Demonstration
January 17, 2024 (Wednesday)
1:00 P.M. – 3:00 P.M.
January 23, 2024 (Tuesday)
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Artist: Frank DiPietro, oil painting from a photo reference
Frank DiPietro Biography & Artist's Statement:
Frank DePietro was born and raised in Scranton PA, where at a young age he developed his interests in art and began oil painting at the age of Ten. He received a Bachelor of Art from Bloomsburg University in 1997, majoring in both Painting and Ceramics with a minor in Art History. In 2000 he earned a post baccalaureate degree in Art Education from Moore College of Art and Design. Frank continued to live in Philadelphia for several years, advancing his painting career and teaching at several museums, art centers and schools in the region. During this period Frank received several accolades for his work in painting and teaching. In 2010 he relocated with his family and took residence at the world renowned Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square PA, Frank lived on the property of the gardens until 2021. The submergence into this surrounding nature quickly became the primary source of inspiration for his work and continues to be to this day.
Frank currently resides in Landenberg PA, he teaches classes and workshops at Longwood as well as the Delaware Art Museum. He is represented by several galleries and exhibits regularly throughout the United States. Frank's work is held in many private and public collections around the world.
I look at nature for inspiration and consider what strikes me as compositionally impactful. The lotus plant easily lends itself to what I am trying to accomplish visually. It provides a seemingly endless possibility of variation. The lines, forms and shapes allow for intriguing use of positive and negative space. The reflection of light passing through and bouncing off of leaves, flowers and seed pods creates opportunity for tonal and color variation. These elements allow me to explore a dynamic of flatness and illusion within the surface of the painting. All of this is encompassed by the portrayal of the plant itself, dictating a mood or sensibility of the work based on its state of existence.
I have always been interested in the visual history of painting. The evolution of thought, and how painters have utilized and built upon periods and movements that predicated them. I try to incorporate this into my work, from traditional representational techniques to concepts of Modernism, Abstract Expressionism and Color field painting.
Conceptually, my work is derived in a manner similar to traditional and plein air landscape painting. It is an attempt to capture time, through the changes in light and color displayed in the natural world. Opposed to taking in the vastness of my surroundings, I treat nature as more of a still life. The focus is on the unique characteristics of individual plant forms that collectively reveal these more vast changes. My initial reaction to any subject matter is visual. I process the elements of the landscape in front of me, then frame it through the viewfinder of a camera for my photo reference. My photos are then cropped and edited in relation to align with elements of painting that I feel will create compelling compositions.
My sentiments align with many aspects of the inherent symbolism of my subjects. My intention is a simple portrayal of existence through the cyclical aspects of life. The body of work is a quiet contemplation on the observations of the perennial nature of plants, in correlation to emotional and intellectual bonds we cast upon them. Revelations of change and a full circle of life are encompassed within its season of being. The plant first displays a vigorous growth of foliage, later the beauty of the bloom, followed by signs of decay and then a regeneration. My appreciation and respect for each visible transition in the life cycle has evolved and grown throughout my paintings, each element serving a distinct role essential to an ultimate purpose.
I am a graduate of Bloomsburg University where I received a BA in Art Studio and a minor in Art History. I also received a Post Baccalaureate Certification of Art Education (Grades K-12) from Moore College of Art.
I have had many solo exhibitions and select group Exhibitions. My works have been exhibited in Public Collections such as Pennsylvania Convention Center, Penn State Health Lancaster and Hampden Medical Centers and Sage Financial Group. Gallery representation includes Square Pear Gallery, The Station Gallery, East West Fine Art, Cocco Salem Gallery, CINQ Gallery and Carrie Haddad Gallery.
The demonstration will revolve around a Water Lily painting from photo reference. The imagery will cover water reflection and droplets, foliage and blooms. I will begin with a discussion about materials I like use, finding right composition and arranging space. I will go through my process of acrylic wash underpainting, color mixing, direct ala prima paint application and blending. Questions and comments are welcome through- out the presentation.
The workshop will begin with an exercise and demo of a traditional open grisaille underpainting and how light, shadow and contrast are used for representational purposes. Followed by direct, ala prima paint applications to close the grisaille using pure color tones as value. (Approximately 1hr). The rest of the workshop will be spent working on the subject and painting of your choice and utilizing and adapting this approach to fit your needs. We will discuss the formal elements of painting and color theory to consciously use them in your work.
Various size Stiff White Nylon Paint Brushes (I prefer Bright Shape) or bristle brushes
11x14 or 16x20 canvas
Solvent (Turpenoid, Gamisol or other)
Rags or paper towels
Cadmium Yellow Pale or Lemon
Any other paint colors you have
Optional colors that I like:
Cadmium Red Light