When I stumbled on oil pastels several years ago after not having had any formal background or training in art, I surprisingly found myself enjoying working strictly in this medium. I am most intrigued not only by its texture, fluidity, and vibrancy of colour but also with the dimension and depth which can be readily achieved through simple hand and finger smudging. In this way, being so closely connected physically with the paper, I find myself able to become even more deeply immersed in the work.
Several of my favourite artists include Leonardo da Vinci, Tamara de Lempicka, and the Group of Seven artists. My greatest influence, however, is Edgar Degas mainly because of his discerning eye for the human form and his masterful portrayal of movement in dance mode. After taking classical ballet at the National Ballet School of Canada for some years, I became very interested in the elements of speed, grace, and strength–all aspects very much part of the rigorous and demanding dance.
I am also quite fascinated by Degas’ ability to intensely concentrate so many of his paintings and drawings on a passion and love for another art form, that being ballet. It is almost as if the two means feed off each other to form a mutual rapport–each stimulating and enlivening the other for its own separate growth.
I expect this is true in my personal experience as well, as art is really only a small indulgence that oftentimes acts as an outlet too with the offshoot benefit of providing inspiration and focus for my writing career. In fact, much of what I write contains similar undertones which exist in my paintings as the recurring themes of nature, spirituality, and humanity are present in both.
–Desi Di Nardo
Desi Di Nardo’s work has been published in numerous North American and international journals and anthologies, performed at the National Arts Centre, featured in Poetry on the Way on the Toronto Transit Commission, selected by Canada’s Parliamentary Poet Laureate, and displayed in the Official Residences of Canada. See www.desidinardo.com
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