May 032024

In March, Strauss Studios hosted Diane Belfiglio: An Artist’s Legacy, an exhibition celebrating the late artist. The Ohio artist and educator’s exploration of light and shadow give her subjects a unique graphic quality.

Here Belfiglio discusses her acrylic paintings-

My paintings prominently feature closely-cropped, sunlit architectural forms. Although realistic in their presentation, I rely heavily on their underlying abstract qualities to give to the already imposing images an even greater sense of power. Shadows, ethereal by nature, take on a rigid structural aspect in these compositions. Colors range from brilliant to subtle in an effort to reproduce the strong sense of sunlight streaming through each piece. Although these images are visually powerful, the delicate details in the architecture—and often in the surrounding vegetation–are also prominently featured in my work. The resultant blend produces a heightened, stylized reality. I work to transform the mundane into the extraordinary, so that we see beauty in images that generally go unnoticed by most of us on a daily basis.

And here she talks about her decision to work with watercolor, like in the pair above-

Never say never. For the majority of my life, I have not taken to watercolor as a medium I ever wanted to use professionally. But in 2015-16, the Canton Museum of Art had a spectacular show of Joseph Raffael’s watercolor paintings. The colors and luminosity in his work were so amazing that I just couldn’t get the images out of my head. A couple of years later, I was called upon to teach Watercolors at Walsh University, a class I normally don’t teach. So there was another toe in the water (pun intended). Fast forward to 2020, when I finally had the urge to vanquish my demons and give it a try. I started slowly, making plenty of mistakes, but soon realized that I could create the luminosity that I crave in my work in this medium.

Tomorrow (5/3/24), Strauss Studios will be open late for Canton First Friday and showing the new exhibition Exploring Light and Darkness featuring artists Emily Orsich, Heather Bullach, Jo Westfall, Joe Ostrowske, Mary Crane Nutter, Patricia Zinsmeister Parker, and Susan Wilkof.