Friday, September 14, 2018

South End Open Studios 2018 - New Studio for Me

September 15th and 16th

Over 199 artists (plus me) opening their studio doors for you
Start at Studio #306, 450 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA

Sat. & Sun. Rain or Shine 11 AM - 6 PM

I'll be showing along with my studio mates, Deborah MacFail, jeweler and Mary Mandarino, weaver. Finally you'll be able to see my new series in person.


Marian Dioguardi - Melanzani Siciliani (Sicilian Eggplants) 2018, 12 X 16 inches $550

Friday, September 7, 2018

Scaling up - Is bigger better?




Original painting of Auro , 16 X 20 inches

Is bigger better? Sometimes "yes" and sometimes  "no". How does a painter know? You go with a gut feeling. That's how this all started. I loved painting Auro; it is a strong little painting that seems to be asking for more. I believe that I have more to give. 

I did 30" X  60"  raw sketch.  I visualized the large scale but I also felt that it should be even larger. Now the sketch is becoming a 36" X 72" inch painting. ( One might note that 36" X 72" size disqualifies the painting for a lot of shows and competitions.) That is not my concern but if you are a painter who submits to shows you would want to take that qualifying feature under consideration when you are deciding to scale up. 

With the help of ratios and grade school arithmetic I scaled up the major elements of the painting. I do not use a grid but I do use a tape measure.

Everything looks a little bit different when when it scales up. Larger painting? Mistakes are larger.  I am not a slave to my sketch. At this point the painting is asking more questions than I have answers for. Where will Nona go? What will I do with the green door so that it's not so prominent (heavy) in the center of the painting? Will the painting work at this scale? Am I crazy to do this?  Did I make the right decision?

I admit I'm a little nervous.However it's the doubt that makes it exciting.  I am committed now and so I am going to give it what I got. Stay tuned. As I tell my students "Hey, it's only paint so go ahead and make a mistake.".














Saturday, September 1, 2018

On My Way to Something Bigger

The start of a 36" X 72" painting. Charcoal sketch on brown paper (30 X 60 inches)

I REALLY liked painting Auro. I had a few more snap shots along that particular street and it gave me an idea. (one thing always leads to another). A painting, not necessarily of how the street was but how I want to see it. Taking the elements of Auro, and the street art and Tags along Santa Maria del Rosario I am planning a much larger painting. It's will be how the scene would feel if one were looking at it from across the street.

The walking figure, La Nonna, is a figure from a favorite painting of mine titled La Nonna. Nonna is a universal figure that one might see anywhere. In La Nonna (1) she is walking the sidewalks of  Venice. Here she is walking the sidewalks of Catania, Sicily. This sketch helped me determine the size and scale. I looked up the actual height and width dimensions of the Peugeot in order to scale the figure. At this point I am not certain where she'll be placed compositionally. 

The 30 X 6O" sketch didn't feel right. It still felt constrained to me.It was larger but not what I was feeling. I took a chance and cut my aluminum panel to 36 X 72" and that does feel right.Now I am contemplating some technical questions such as how to hang it. Should it and how would it be framed?

The aluminum panel is lighter than a cradled gesso panel. Also it's strong. The edges are rough and I'm not certain I want the edges to show but on the other hand it could be OK if the painting stood off the wall.  TIf it's not going to be framed I have to decide: do I attach hardware to the panel, how and what kind?

In the meantime I am painting other paintings. And so it goes.





Friday, August 24, 2018

It's not what's wrong it's what could be more right.

Artichokes - Carciofi, 12 X 12in, oil on panel by Marian Dioguardi c2018
The first painting of artichokes, Carciofi Siciliani,  was a successful learning and painting process. It also was a struggle. In order to move beyond the feelings of struggling and to prove to myself that I learned something I decided to take another shot at painting artichokes.

This time the experience was so much more pleasurable. I relaxed into the painting as it was developing. Also I had the opportunity to make slightly different decisions and push the color along. That is why I like working in series: one thing always leads to another.

And that reminds me of a lesson that I learned in art school from one of my favorite painting teachers at Mass College of Art, Paul Celli : One fine day  I was painting the class lesson of the day, a live model, and feeling pretty good about what I was doing. Paul came by and took the canvas off my easel and pushed it to the side and said "that's ok but start another now". I  can tell you that I was a little confused.  I thought what I was doing was good solid work and I didn't see anything  wrong with what I was doing. However, somewhat reluctantly I started the same painting again. Lo and behold it was better, far better, than the first attempt!

I could not have seen myself doing a better painting because I kept looking for what was wrong. Paul Celli was looking at my painting what could be BETTER. I learned an important lesson that day. Even if a painting is "nice", do it twice!