Sunday, July 15, 2018

Focal Point; to be or not to be?

Cavolofiori Colori, Colorful Caulifowers by Marian Dioguardi, c2018. Oil on panel 16 X 20 in
The focal point is an area or a subject, in a painting, that dominates the viewer's eye. It's a useful and necessary device for a narrative painting and when there is a primary subject around which the rest of painting is composed to support. Formal painting has always stressed the importance of having a focal point in a composition.  I have used focal point. It's like an underlying melody of a song that you can hum. It brings structure and order to a painting. 

Non-focal painting is more like jazz. It stimulates the eye and the viewers to explore to make order (or not).

My interest in the contemporization the "still life" genre has brought me to non-focal still life where I paint multiple areas of interest with multiple areas treated equally. Why do I do this? Because that's how I see. Great big heaps of colorful objects make me want to paint. They energizes my eye. The goal is to make the entire painting a focal point. In this way my still lives have similarities with abstracts which are traditionally non-focal; think Jackson Pollack.

Interestingly I have returned to my origins of still life painting: painting fruits and vegetables. My interest was renewed by my trip to Sicily and the abundance of the Sicilian market place in Catania. The entire experience is a nonfocal experience. Everything cries out for attention from the songs of the fish mongers to the beauty of the produce. I wanted to paint it all and so......
Arance Siciliani, Sicilian Oranges by Marian Dioguard c2018. Oil on aluminum panel, 12 X 12 

Arance di Misilmeri by Marian Dioguardi c2018. Oil on aluminum panel, 12 X 12 


Wednesday, May 2, 2018

SoWa May Art Walk May 5th and 6th & SoWa Open Market May6th


Limoni alla Siciliano, 11 x 14 inchs (28 cm X 35.5 cm), oil on aluminum panel. Framed (or unframed as you wish)

It's going to be the perfect weekend to explore the Sowa Art + Design District along Harrison Ave and Thayer Street Boston. I'll be in my new space with new work, Studio #306 450 Harrison Ave, along with my two studio mates Mary Mandarino who does fabric weavings and Deborah MacFail who does jewelry creations.You have three opportunities to come by!

First Friday, May 4th from 5-9 PM. You can leisurely stroll through the open studios of  the SoWa artists.

May Art Walk, May 5th and 6th from 11-5 PMYou can spend the day exploring not only the SoWa artist studios but the all art galleries and boutiques along Thayer Street.

Opening Sunday for the Sowa Open Market May 6th from 10-4 PM.  Put your comfortable walking shoes on because you'll need them to appreciate all the artisan vendor tents, farm stands, food trucks and the new Beer Barn taproom in the iconic Power Station along Thayer Street and Harrison Ave. The Market opens at 10 AM. Artist Studios open at 11:00 AM


Limoni alla Siciliano is the first in my series of paintings based in the Farmers' Market, Catania, Sicily. The abundance of produce even in December was overwhelmingly beautiful. I had to go away to get back to where I started , painting fruits and vegetables in 2001, but 17 years later I am painting with a twist.



Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Newton Open Studios 2018 - Art In the Villa


Cielo e Mare, Sea and Sky (Giardini Naxos, Sicily) iol painting by Marian Dioguardi c 2018
Two Days Only - April 7th and 8th from 11-5 PM

Join us for this very special annual event in a historic stone home in West Newton affectionately nicknamed "The Villa". The grounds are inspired from Italian gardens and surround the Arts and Crafts renovation of a Gothic stone carriage house. Now a private home, the doors open once a year, welcoming visitors, to view throughout the first floor my paintings and the paintings of Will Kirkpatrick, Gene Mackles, Geoff Austrian, the glass sculptures of Sidney Hutter and the bottle cap jewelry of Daisy Hutter. Light refreshments will be served.

The Villa, West Newton
This is the favorite stop  along the tour of the other Newton (Garden City) artists and art centers. Easy driving and parking. It's a pleasure to see the art in a home as it was meant to be seen. Enjoy the full weekend.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

My Head In the Clouds (Still Life vs Landscape)


She is Wild as She is Beautiful, oil painting, Sicily by Marian Dioguardi c2018


If you are familiar with my work over the last 17 years you think of me as a still life painter. What you don't know is that I always wanted to paint like J.M.W. Turner, the wild British landscape painter. However soon  realized as in learning to paint is that no matter what you paint there you are. So for these past years objects captured my interest: fruit and vegetables, laundry lines, cups and dish ware, buoys. Allowing my hands to always follow my heart I never knew where they would take me.

Painting still life with pallet knife allows me to make clear distinct decisions about color, shape and form. As one of my teachers, Barney Rubenstien, told me "You are a god in a still life because you have full control". That appealed to me. I spent my student years and professional years developing my painting all within the still life genre. Now and then I'd do a plain air landscape because it was good painting practice. It was so different putting those practices into the still life.

I continue to rely on my trusty pallet knife but in moments of desperation I resort to using rags, brushes and my fingers. How do I get a soft edge with a pallet knife?! I try this. I try that. I'll try anything!

The landscape world, where I'm not a god, is wild and beautiful, ever changing and challenging. Where I have clear images of what my still lifes painting are; now I have only shifting and searching feelings about the beauty and the wildness of the sky and land. So like the changing light and clouds every painting I am doing is different, shifting and out of my control. The one constant that remains is that it's a challenge.

The Clouds Are Alive,  oil painting, Sicily by Marian Dioguardi c2018