Art Has One Purpose...

Paul Scaturro has been creating art for more than 50 years. His education included a few classes at Parsons School of Design and the Art Student League, but that was more than 35 years ago. He also took life drawing classes in his neighborhood of Long Island, New York. "Now with the internet there is so much information available that it accelerates the learning curve for anyone interested in art", says Paul. However, his love for the Masters remains. "Just think about it", he says, "Van Gogh, Monet, Pissarro, Degas and, more recently, Andrew Wyeth, John Singer Sargent, and Edward Hopper, they all had to learn from life. There were no computers, no training videos! These guys were true geniuses. They broke new ground and that doesn't happen that often."

In terms of his own history with Art, when Paul was seven years old he filled up a book with charcoal drawings of dogs. It must have been in his DNA because when he started painting again 10 years ago, the first thing he started painting was dog portraits. He laughs, "Ha ha, dogs were easier to get a likeness than people, but I'm done with dog portraits for now."

For a great deal of the middle section of his life, Paul was and still remains a graphic artist. "When I was much younger, I fell in love with Photoshop 4. Putting a drop shadow on an object made me smile. I couldn't believe that a computer program could make something look like nature…it blew my mind, I was hooked."

From those beginnings, he found himself in a dual career as a graphic artist and a recording studio owner. This afforded him the opportunity to build websites for music artists and design album covers. By the time 2017 rolled around, Paul went full tilt into oil painting.

When asked if he paints Alla Prima (all at once in one sitting) he says, "Most of the time not, I usually have at least 3 or 4 paintings going at any given time. I like them to dry a little before moving forward. Sometimes I use a product called Liquin with my oil paints so that the painting gets tacky in one day. I love both acrylics and oils, but they are used for different effects. Acrylics don't dull over time and create more detail, but oils blend much better." He further observes, "It is nice working in acrylic because it dries rapidly. Mistakes can be fixed instantly. Sometimes I'll start a piece in acrylic to block it in and then go over it with oil. It is interesting that although the acrylic is covered with oil, it doesn't look the same as pure oil."

Most of what Paul paints today is with pure oil. "I like to sketch out in charcoal or pencil on a canvas or wood panel. I then spray it with a fixer and paint over the whole thing with a rose colored wash. I learned that from reading about Jack Vettriano, one of my favorite artists."

These days Paul finds himself influenced by just about everyone he sees. "I particularly like Jack Vettriano for his subject matter, Malcolm Liepke for his heavy use of paint and highlights, Bo Bartlett and Michael Carlson for using warm shadow colors.  These influences can be readily seen in his more recent works. When asked about his subject matter of mid century woman he says "Everyone loves Edward Hopper so why not create new material from that era? It is kind of like Michael Buble' keeps Sinatra alive."

He also has a great respect for legendary comic book and fantasy artists. "No one is better than Frank Frazetta. Frank mastered the human form and composition and was able to create alternative worlds. I wish I could have met him." With that said, he did have the opportunity to meet his wife when he went to the Frank Frazetta Museum in Pennsylvania many years ago."

He goes on to talk about comic book artists, "Guys like John Buscema, Barry Windsor Smith, John Romita Sr. and Gil Kane were real artists. They knew the human form and could draw it in any position without reference. I think it is funny when 'fine artists' make fun of the comic guys…there are comic artists today that can draw circles around most fine artists. They don't get the credit they deserve because they are illustrators first, not fine artists…nonsense."

Paul's workday starts very early around 5:30 am. "I like it when it's quiet, so by the time the house becomes noisy and the lawn mowers are growling outside I've already got something on the canvas."

Paul is not afraid to share his opinions on Art. He likes to talk about the difference between Painting and Art. "Painting and Art are two entirely different things, but people tend to put them together. Copying a photograph in oil paint is not art. However, cropping that photograph to a nice composition, simplifying it and finding nice color relations, this is where Art begins…

"Art has one purpose, to transport you" - Wayne Theibaud

Paul Scaturro

Paul Scaturro a fine artist who enjoys painting midcentury figurative scenes in an idealized world.
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