Oil paintings by Andrea Petitto



As a child, I created things with clay, and I have always made drawings of things that I like to look at or imagine. Later in life, I was introduced to oil painting and never looked back.

Painting from life, whether it is a figure, still life or landscape, has always been my passion. Brush or knife strokes are more important to me than representational detail. I am fascinated by the tension between the sense of paint and surface on one hand and the illusion of form and depth in the painting on the other. I try to make my subject matter look like it’s been chiseled from stone and yet alive and breathing, a contrast that is ms beautiful and exciting to me.

My paintings are only partially planned ahead of time. I start with a figure or figures and I make enough sketches and drawings to feel familiar with them. Then I use a support with an underpainting that I had previously created with a specific palette, and with many random energetic marks made with any of several tools I use to apply paint. The final product emerges from the figure I paint into the underpainting – working to pull the images into a coherent whole. In the process, an unexpected variety of magic happens.