Fresco Painting Courses in Florence


Self Portrait of Giovanni di San Giovanni, fresco painting on support, Uffizi Gallery, Florence.


I will be organizing ongoing fresco painting courses and private lessons in Florence, Italy.  Students will learn about one of the most durable mediums for painting: fresco.  The full process will be explored including: the preparation of the support, colors and cartoon. Taking advantage of the unique abundance of fresco painting in Florence, site visits to various chapels, churches and museums will enlighten the student to the aesthetic possibilities offered by this wonderful medium.

Please email me for more information or fill out the contact form below:


Merry Christmas!

xmass 2017

I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

Here are some images from a life size nativity scene that I created for the church of Sant’ Ambrogio from awhile back.  The post about that wonderful project can be found here.

1 presepe
Front view of Sant’ Ambrogio presepe
2 presepe
Side view of presepe
4 presepe copy
Detail of the Madonna

A Dream Incarnate: Italian Landscapes and Portraits


This summer I will be having a show of my Italian landscapes and portraits. Kindy hosted by the Oak Park Public Library it will be up for the month of July.  Entitled The Dream Incarnate, the work represents my experience in Italy through a visual interpretation of the places and people that have inspired me.  It opens Saturday, July 8th.

For more information about the show please follow the link here.

Below is a selection from the works that will be represented.


Premio Arte Laguna Show

arte laguna logo

The Arte Laguna Prize show opened last weekend and it was a wonderful event.  In addition to being very well attended, there was a positive energy and a lot of engaging work.  My painting “Consolation of Philosophy” held its own and attracted a lot of interest.  The show is up until the 9th of April.  For more information click here.

arte laguna show1

arte laguna title block

arte laguna show 2

Catalog Cover

Premio Arte Laguna Show to Open

Consolation of Philosophy
The Consolation of Philosophy, oil on linen, 60cm x 80cm

Premio Arte Laguna, the international competition and show, will open its 11th edition this Saturday, March 25th.  My picture shown above was selected a finalist in the painting section.  The opening is open to the public and more information can be found in the link.


Interview Feature

Matthew James Collins - Amore1r
Inheritance: A Portrait of Amore, oil on linen, 50cm x 60cm

While in Chicago this summer I had the opportunity to participate in a short interview feature about my life and work.  Footage from the opening of my Iter Animae that took place at Loyola University is featured as well.  I would like to thank Matt Baron and Joe Kreml for developing and creating this wonderful piece.

I opened a YouTube channel as well and that can be found here.

The 4 week Classical Oil Portrait Course in Florence, Italy 2015

Carlo, oil on linen, 50cm x 60cm
Carlo, oil on linen, 50cm x 60cm

I just finished teaching another 4 week oil portrait course in Florence, Italy for the Cecil Studios.  The students started out with a bit of cast drawing before working directly from models in charcoal and oil.  The sight-size method, as it was originally intended, is used to create life-size portraits under natural light with a historical limited palette.  The class size is limited to 10 students.

The great challenge is the ‘reprogramming’ of the student’s expectations of the portrait painting course.  The goal is not to walk away with several pretty oil sketches.    Ultimately, the emphasis is developing observation skills and the student’s ‘eye.’  The fundamentals of charcoal and oil technique are covered and explored.  In this visual approach to image making the shapes are evolved directly on the canvas.   The resulting work often lacks polish but honestly reveals a diligent study from nature.  Hopefully one leaves with a basic knowledge of important principles that will guide them in their future work.

The model next to the painting in the sight size set up.
The model next to the painting in the sight size set up.

The above picture is of a model in a sight size set up with one of the completed demos that I did during the class.  The one below shows one of the studio spaces.  It was a great experience with a really nice group.  Everyone really applied themselves and the results were excellent.

The studio room at Piazzale Donatello
The studio room at Piazzale Donatello

Enrico and ”Boreas”

A selection from
A selection from “Boreas,” oil on linen, 70cm x 110cm

The images shown are from a recent painting that I completed.  The title is Boreas, which is ancient greek for the north wind, or commonly known in Italian as the Tramontana.  You can find more about the north wind here.  To learn more specifically about Boreas, click here.  One of the Anemoi, or wind gods, Boreas brings the cold winter.  Enrico, the model, shares many of the characteristics of the north wind.  He is dressed in a heavy leather jacket and holding a pipe that just went out.

La Tramontana, oil on linen, 70cm x 110cm
Boreas, oil on linen, 70cm x 110cm

A constant problem in sharing my oil paintings is the difficulty of taking a decent photographs.  My technique, a distinctly 17th century visual approach, uses a lot of translucent glazes and scumbles that the camera simply doesn’t read.  To capture some of the subtle halftones I am forced to F stop down to the point where all the darks melt together.  As a result my oil paintings therefore are not very ‘photogenic.’  However the purpose of painting is to create unique objects/images that are experienced in person and enrich the viewer over time.  The fact that my oil work rejects technological recognition is ultimately part of my purpose.  The capability of human vision is much greater than the machines created to emulate them.  The quality of art(figurative) should never be measured by the false paragon of the photograph.  Otherwise we forfeit the stuff of poetry that it is made of.

Detail of the hand
Detail of the hand

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