Oil Paintings by Joseph Palazzolo

Self Portrait - Oil on Canvas

'Exploring one's creativity with oil paint is a joy.... life slows down as one takes the time not just to see, but to observe every nuance of color, shape and tone in the world around us..... a truly exhilarating experience.'

My love of image-making began in my youth when I purchased my first camera, a Pentax Spotmatic II. I would shoot, develop and print photos for endless hours, exploring creative possibilities in landscapes, portraits and still lifes. Many years later, after seeing an art exhibit in East Hampton, N.Y. entitled, The Late Paintings of Willem De Kooning, I was inspired to attempt a new medium. As I looked at De Kooning’s large, flowing, colorful canvases, something moved me to want to try my hand at painting. It was truly an extraordinary moment for me, as I had not painted prior to that time. The next day I borrowed a book from the East Hampton Public Library, and began teaching myself to draw and paint.

As my skills developed, I felt I would benefit from more formal training. I studied painting and sculpture at the New York Academy of Art, and painting and drawing at the Art Student’s League of New York, the Scottsdale Artist's School, and the Palette & Chisel Academy of Fine Art in Chicago, as well as privately with the renowned American portrait artist, Burton Silverman.

Part of my education over the years has been to faithfully reproduce the works of Old Masters and Impressionists such as Velazquez, Sargent, Sorolla, Degas, Manet and Zorn. Taking the time to painstakingly copy such masterpieces compels one to study their genius brushstroke by brushstroke. This has been of enormous help to me in my own work.

Today I paint almost every day, and I have not stopped being a student of art. I'm always studying or visiting an art museum somewhere to grow artistically, to become inspired, or for the sheer joy of it. I'm usually motivated to paint by the drama and strength of light as it plays on a subject. I enjoy painting landscapes, figures, portraits and still lifes. Years ago I began painting dancers, particularly the lyrical movements of ballerinas. I have found New York City night landscapes to be a joyful challenge, with the extraordinary amount of light and color found outdoors at night. Another genre involved a series of thoroughbred horse racing scenes, trying to capture the excitement and intensity of these athletes and their jockeys. Recently I have been concentrating on portraits, and the particular challenge of capturing the essence of a person in oil.

A few years ago I began teaching oil painting as I enjoy sharing my knowledge and experience to help motivated students. The activity actually helps me with my own paintings as I work to help students solve the inevitable problems that come up in any painting.

  » Jul 18, 2024  


2009 - 2020, Joseph M. Palazzolo. All rights reserved.
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