By: Gail Obenreder
“There is no stasis in nature, but paradoxically, despite [its] change at work, the natural world provides the opportunity to experience moments of deep stillness like no other.”
Working in pastels, painter Nicholas Serratore portrays the myriad changes taking place even as he looks on. “There is transformation in every moment of the natural world,” and the artist observes and captures the way “light changes a leaf from yellow in the morning to bright green in the afternoon to deep violet by nightfall.”
Serratore often paints the world around his Lewes home, but he grew up in Abington, Pennsylvania and lived in Philadelphia before moving full-time to Delaware in 1995. As well as his artistic practice as a painter, he is the Exhibition Director for the Rehoboth Art League. Serratore studied and worked in a number of artistic mediums at Philadelphia’s Hussian College of Art, but he found himself attracted to pastels “for their brilliancy and immediacy,” that allowed him to achieve blending techniques not possible with other mediums.
Serratore’s works visually vibrate, deftly portraying the natural world’s shifting light through his skill in apply the challenging pastels. “I don’t have the luxury of a palette to mix colors – just a scrap of paper to test them – so the colors have to be thought out and chosen carefully before applying them lightly in layers so the colors don’t become muddy.”
Because of the concentration that pastels require, Serratore says that for him “painting is a mindfulness practice.” He hopes that his works will serve as a guide to viewers, “perhaps even transforming them so that when they step outside, they begin to see the natural world in a new, more mindful and awe-struck way.” Though painting is his way of escaping into a particular time and place, the artist finds his biggest reward “when the viewer gets lost in their own experience.”
Serratore loves to mix it up in the kitchen as well as at the easel. “The art of cooking is magical to me.” Good food and good friends gathered around a table always reminds him of family dinners with his parents and three siblings.
Previously honored as a 2012 Emerging Artist Fellow, Serratore will use this award to expand his current practice and “push the medium into new directions.” The Fellowship continues to be “an affirmation as an artist. It has taught me to believe in myself and to champion what I do,” advice that the painter imparts to all aspiring – and inspiring – artists.
Artist website: www.serratoreart.comFellowship Home