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My father, a decorative iron artisan from Delia, Sicily has been one of the greatest influences on my work. From the time I was a small child, he filled my life with art, Italian opera, and weekend excursions to museums. Saturday evenings would find us sitting in a lecture hall at Albright College to view masterworks and listen to travel lectures on Europe and its wonders. With his encouragement, I entered my first art show at the age of 12, the youngest artist in a show, featuring local artists' works including a watercolor by Andrew Wyeth. After high school, I moved to Italy where I had uninterrupted hours painting and sketching with occasional weekend trips to Rome. Since my days in Europe, I have continued traveling the world, and in each place, I formed personal relationships with local artists learning their techniques and enjoying their companionship. These cultural influences are very present in my art from its swirling shapes to its bold colors. In each design, you can feel the tropical heat of the Caribbean and see the geometric and swirling organic shapes of my father's iron gates and wall sconces.
My Creative Journey to a Mandala
Psychiatrist Carl Jung saw the mandala as "a representation of the unconscious self," and believed his paintings of mandalas enabled him to identify emotional disorders and work towards wholeness in personality. My mixed media art starts with a mandala or group of non-figurative lines. Years ago, while living overseas, I learned a technique for focusing one’s mind on God, a problem, or just an interesting line of thought while practicing relaxation therapy. The technique involved drawing one’s problems or thoughts as non-figurative lines. I would then turn the paper, meditate on the “lines” of thought and many times find solutions to my problems or expand deeper into the exercise as a whole. When finished with the meditation, I noticed that the non-figurative drawings made some interesting abstract art. I then painted color into the drawings and worked them into finished art. After I discovered the wonders of Fractal Theory, a whole new way of looking at geometry and the geometric plane, I referred back to my mandalas and discovered the same curves and lines produced by fractal formulas. I then decided to merge the two outcomes into my artwork. Many of my paintings are mixed media creations including a fractal design, brush-painted acrylic, brush painted inks, airbrushed acrylics, airbrushed inks, and sometimes collage elements. I like "bling," so many of my paintings include Swarovski crystals, beads, and other assorted forms of sparkle. Everything is executed using only the finest papers, inks, paints, and canvas.
The Lionti Gallery
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