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Cultivating My Art's Passion
by Angela Persechino
My practice of making art continues to be the same as it always has been…a visual diary. There is an emphasis on transporting the internal noise to an external place for peace. If not complete peace at the moment, then a place for contemplation and reflection.
My work is an empirical interpretation of a universal experience. Daily living. Inclusive of the trials, tribulations and unique celebrations.
I am motivated by the desire to process my observations, explore the findings and gain insight to the significance. My art becomes current, in the moment, representing acceptance of what is.
Victrola, photo montage/mixed media
Sometimes being heard, seen or recognized requires our attention to both new and old ways of communicating. Confidence goes a long way. Eye contact is admired. Mystery remains intriguing.
My creative expression of choice is delivered through a variety of visual art practices (painting, photography, sculpture and mixed media). The subject matter relates to the present moment and represents a narrative based on personal reflection and real life experiences.
Most often, before reflection, is a processing of information and direct contemplation. Depending on the intensity of the subject and the critical thinking stage, a focus is generated then implemented over a period of time.
If there is a lapse in studio time, it's possible for the story, i.e. the visual entry, to shift. The shift may take place as a simple change in a color scheme, an added texture, or manipulated layer. Although the art may transform in time, the intent remains.
Unlike a daily entry in a written diary or journal, in the studio there are weeks, sometimes months, even years that may pass as the creative process continues.
Observations and multiple perspectives come forth, disappear and get reestablished within the time between. Like the silence or (thinking) pauses in a conversation.
Awareness of self, others and the environment are transcended from my life to the canvas, thus giving a place for a retreat, refuge, and hopefully a sense of peace.
The Ladies, a group of four 5'x4' linen canvases, by Angela Persechino
Whether times of celebration, trauma, chaos or awkward acceptance, there is comfort in preserving the moment with a sense of knowing that whatever transpires, there is a personal (sometimes private) creative process to help with the onward motion.
In my series "The Ladies", a group of four 5'x4' linen canvases are layered with oil pigments that vary in texture and opacity. Minimal color, solid lines and simple forms are used to characterize two women and the ever-changing environment in which they stand.
The ladies are engaged in an uncomfortable dialogue while simultaneously being empowered through a very personal journey that is visible in the transformation of their bodies as they interact with each other.
A schematic characterization of the life-size figure is narrative in sequence. The first piece, "The Ladies," is a celebratory piece representing a time and space prior to the journey. The second piece, "Booby Trap," heightens the attention between the figures in a place of contemplation and tension while being physically and emotionally exposed.
The third piece, "Re-Acquainted," provides a moment and time of transformation as the two figures remain engaged. The final piece, "Birds of Paradise," offers closure by symbolically providing a sense of acceptance and freedom so desperately needed in a time of such uncertainty.
The distressed applications of oil pigments, layered gradually, transcends from a somewhat transparent appearance to a more solid finish. Organic forms extend from the top of the figures suggesting private thoughts and intimate discussions.
The narration remains visible through subtle changes in body language, surface quality of the canvases and tonal values of the minimal palette. Emotional, physical and psychological impacts are reiterated in the conscious journey of securing a more comfortable space.
Currently, the passion for my creative practice is stimulated by the role of being a care giver. In addition to being a deliberate observer of life, I am also a care giver of love, health and happiness for my life-partner of 15 years who has stage IV breast cancer.
As care givers and those in need of care know, the role has its obvious challenges, but intense heartfelt glories as well. Physical obstacles and/or emotional blocks may encumber a care giver and receiver's relationship, and in my opinion, should be considered an art in itself.
From what I have personally experienced and have often witnessed, an illness (terminal, or not) and pain (chronic or not) can change ones' life dramatically and offers many shifts in perspectives.
The practice of creating and cultivating a visual diary is a quiet flow and can be very therapeutic while reconstructing life and personal perspectives with an open heart and mind.
Essentially, I cultivate my own care giving passion through art while channeling the internal conversations and current perspectives. Personal thoughts and feelings are either celebrated or reconstructed through a courageous portal of love and kindness. Inner strength and awareness is harnessed through the process as I explore, eventually creating a place of curious contemplation and, if possible, peace.
Images published courtesy of Angela Persechino
I didn't come out of the artist closet until I was in my late twenties. Before that, I would do my artwork in private and rarely show my work to others. I have always considered my work a "visual diary" and had no intentions to share. I worked with traditional darkroom photography, always had my own darkroom and was most interested in creating black and white photo montages. The work I created was my way of sorting "things" out. So for me, the process of the artwork was often more important than the finished piece.
After completing a dual degree at Syracuse University in Art Photography and Art Education, I became an art educator. Soon afterward, I received my graduate degree from New York University. I had spent three full summers abroad in various cities in Italy, and a nice long hot summer in NYC.
I was happy to settle back in on the Cape to continue my career as an art educator and artist. By this time, my work had shifted. I was still telling stories, and sorting things out, but I was primarily using paints. Eventually, I found myself using a variety of media to meet the needs of my message. A message that I would share and exhibit. Some messages were even bought by interested viewers. I have shown and sold locally and abroad.
Currently, I am teaching in the Dennis-Yarmouth Regional School District and an active member of the Cape Cod and the Islands Art Educators Association. I continue to work with mixed media on a variety of subjects. However, most remain personal narratives that I just have to explore. I truly believe that my work has literally saved me on many, many occasions. It continues to do so and I would anticipate that it is a practice I will own for life.