Caesar Citraro to lead plein air painting class June 14-15
Caesar Citraro works on a painting in his studio. The artist will lead an introduction to plein air painting class June 14-15 at the Crooked Tree Arts Center in Petoskey. (Courtesy photo / June 10, 2013)
Citraro's career at the Art Institute of Chicago afforded him the opportunity to travel the globe to places as far as Japan and New Zealand where he was inspired by the flora indigenous to these places. The paintings that followed contained biomorphic and organic forms derived from nature. Citraro's painted world was one of pure imagination where tentacles, thorns and vines intertwined. His materials included wax, colored pencils and oils that were applied to smooth, gessoed-wood panels. His techniques included rubbing and burnishing these surfaces, incising them and adding more colored media into the incised lines to create multi-layered images.
More recently, Citraro's relocation from Chicago to Petoskey in 2008 inspired another stylistic turn in his work. He now takes a broader view of his surroundings and has shifted from painting the minutia of nature to painting broad expanses of land and the flora contained therein. Citraro concerns himself with the play of light through trees, across rolling hills, or on groups of leaves, branches and even single pine cones. Small elements of the abstracted, biomorphic forms found in earlier work are subtly incorporated into these works from time to time, yet the imagery remains solidly rooted in the real world.
"The lush farmlands and mysterious forests near my home captivate me," Citraro said.
"The beauty and visual diversity in this area are amazing to me and I feel the need to somehow convey that in my art."
Beginning at the Crooked Tree Arts Center and moving outward, participants will observe and paint from nature creating dramatic images emphasizing light, shadow and dynamic design. Students will be using oil paint, but drawing materials will also be used for sketching reference drawings. All levels of experience are welcome but openness to experimentation and a willingness to enjoy oneself is mandatory.
The workshop is from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and will begin at Crooked Tree Arts Center. Plein air locations are to be determined. The cost is $185 for Crooked Tree Arts Center or Oil Painters of America members and $220 for non-members. Supply lists may be found online at www.crookedtree.org.
For more information and to register for Introduction to Plein Air with Caesar Citraro, visit www.crookedtree.org or call (231) 347-4337.