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I am a figurative/realist painter specialising in portraiture and self-portraiture. My work is vibrantly colourful and psychologically charged: taking inspiration from personal memories along with observations from real life and imagination, I recreate stories and scenes which explore and address the vulnerability and strength of the human condition.
Technically, I am deeply inspired by the classical academic tradition although I try to emulate a contemporary version of realism which combines elements of abstract expressionism, mixed media, collage, illustration and photography
I was born in Sicily and been living in London since early 2000 where I moved to finish my academic studies with an MA in International Communications and Human Rights. I worked into marketing and advertising before moving on into the visual arts. I trained briefly at various London art institutions such as the Royal Drawing School and at the London Atelier of Representational Art (LARA).
I have been awarded a few prizes, such as the “Jackson Open Painting Prize 2019 (JOPP2019)” for the Portrait/Figure category; the “The Harbour Gallery Award” and “The Artist's Exhibition Award” (TALPOpen 2019); “The Holly Bush Emerging Woman Painter Prize 2017” and the “Emerald Winter Pride Art Award” in 2016. I also participated in “Sky Portrait Artist of The Year 2019”
My work is exhibited regularly across London in venues including the Mall Galleries, Bloomsbury and The Strand Gallery. My paintings have been featured in various UK national magazines (Artists and Illustrator; The Artist’s Magazine), and my portrait ‘Young Climate Rebel’ was the front cover image for the September 2019 issue of Arena Magazine (Australia).
For more information please see my website www.rossoart.net
Demonstrations: I am versed into running concise demonstration of portrait-figure-still life (flowers) etc paintings , both from the life model or or photographic reference. My average execution time for a finished portrait (head + shoulder) or flowers compositions during a demo is in between 1 1/2 h to 2 1/2 h. I am flexible in arranging the length of the demo based on the requirements.
Workshop: I truly enjoy guiding people to paint - again, subjects vary from still life, to portraits/figure, from life model or from photographs. I have been teaching classes with mixed abilities and age group - the youngest participant being 3 y.o the oldest 70+. I like to ‘accompany’ the student in their own personal journey of art discovery, rather than imposing my own style. Of course, I also cater for people who are keen in learning my technique, and provide careful step-by-step instructions and critiques along the way.
While my personal style is of course realist/figurative, I appreciate each individual’s tendency to be on the more abstract or realist spectrum of representational art, therefore adapt my teaching/instructions accordingly. I like to teach some basic of painting and drawing first, such as how to observe the worlds/subject being portrait, how to progress from a general view to details using a blocking-in method, how to use colour theory (complimentary colour and chiaroscuro) to add character and depthto any composition, and how to work on the edges to create harmonious compositions. All these principles are of course universal and can be applied to any subject, regardless of the style adopted. I usually take a few books as reference with me and happy to advise students on further readings/books/manuals and even online instructions. I run both drawing classes and painting, in a variety of mediums (oil and acrylics preferred)
Often people have been fascinated by my self-portraits and have asked me to design workshops with self-portraiture as a main subject. They bring along a selfie or any image of themselves they particularly like and I guide them all the way through to reproduce it artistically on a canvas. Other participants have come to me to learn to paint a portrait of their kids/grandchildren or even their pets, which were executed successfully from photograp
I am happy to travel up to an 1.5 hour from my home in London.