‘Al di La’ is the Italian expression for ‘the beyond’, meaning vaguely ‘over there’. When it is spelled as one word, ‘Aldila’, the meaning is ‘heaven’.
In these paintings I seek to express the beyond, the vast expansiveness of the realm above us. The sky we experience is Southern Vermont with our landscape of rolling hills and meadows is uniquely ours, vast, yet somehow intimate, closer to us, making the beyond we imagine close to our reality. It allows us to dream without losing our balance.
With my focus on the beyond, I wanted to anchor this dynamic, elusive world of sky to the solid earth below. The excitement in painting a large sky, which suggests the ephemeral, with a recognizable landscape, is to find the color and value balance in order to paint on canvas the harmony that exists in nature. Achieving it is a delightful and delicate dance of brush and palette.
Clouds play a strong role in the concept of beyond. In all their manifestations, cumulus, stratus, cirrus and nimbus, clouds draw attention to the vast realm of the beyond and powerfully affect our moods. At play in the small paintings is the color gray, achieved by mixing complementary colors: blue/orange, yellow/ violet, red/green. The selection of complementary colors for clouds can be key to achieving the harmonious balance between beyond and below.
About the artist:
A graduate of Brown University (B.A.) and Dartmouth College (M.A.L.S.) Nancy Calicchio moved to Vermont in 1963. She enjoyed a long career as an independent school educator. Upon retirement she devoted her time to painting the Vermont she loves. Nancy has painted extensively in Southern Vermont from the Taconic Mountains in the west to the Connecticut River in the east. Her paintings combine her love of the natural world with the traditional, yet current, uses of the land in farms, pastures, fields and orchards. The greatest influence on her work has come from artist Diane Rath with whom she studied from 2007 to 2011 at the Putney Village Arts in Putney, Vermont.
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