“When did you start painting?” is probably the most asked question I get when showing my artworks to people. I honestly do not even remember. Thankfully, my grandmother was the only one who appreciated and framed the drawings I would make when I was only 4 years old.
This wonderful drawing is still hanging in my grandmother’s house in Italy. Grandmothers already know everything. She knew it from the beginning that art is what I was supposed to be doing.
My first “Art School Experience”
When I was 10 years old, my mom finally decided to take me an “art school” in the afternoon, once a week, after school. It was a small 7-10 children class, taught by two amazing local artists, Aldo and Eva Sterchele. I must say that they showed me a lot of techniques that I probably subconsciously still use today.
High School & forgetting about art
After attending the art school for a year or two, I went to middle school, where I was drawing and painting here and there. In Italy, however, when in middle school, students need to make a very important decision: which high school to attend. Italian high school is already very specific, like college. For example, there is a scientific high school, which focuses on math and science, a language high school, where students learn 3 or more languages, a hairdresser high school, and so on. My parents forced me to go to the scientific high school, even if I truly wanted to attend the artistic one.
Studying abroad and making art again
I abandoned art for a couple years, until I decided to study abroad. I went to Pelham high school, in New Hampshire, for my Junior year, where I finally took a couple of art classes. Mr. Locke had me fall in love with art all over again.
That year I truly enjoyed making art, learning English and getting out of my comfort zone in a new country. I made paintings, participated in shows, won a couple of awards and told myself I could not stop making art ever again. At this point I was often referring to images that I found appealing, and I would just recreate it with my own “touch”.
College and choices to make
Once I completed the year abroad, I went back to Italy, graduated high school, and my parents decided to move to Florida, where I would have started college. Fortunately, the first two years, I have been advised to get my Associate in Arts, which was pretty generic. However, I ended up taking a lot of art classes, and I could not be happier!
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