My inspiration is to capture young people as they are with dignity.
Daniel Finaldi:My work has always been concerned with a painterly and direct observation of reality as I see it which is connected to the wonderful tradition of figurative painting in Western Art. In past years my approach was to discover a mood within a certain place or in a particular spot. I was interested in the spontaneous feeling that I was experiencing in that moment and I wanted to paint that feeling. The emotion was always based upon a visual experience. I had seen something and I needed to paint it.
“They have a lot on tbeir mind”
This image is from an ongoing series of paintings which I complete in my studio classroom throughout the academic year.
As a high school art teacher, my day is hectic and exhausting.
If I chose to leave the school at the end of the day, I would not be able to create as I do.
Instead I have chosen to make my classroom a major motif.
And while the classroom does not change, the people-my students come and go year after year.
I have always loved drawing and painting people, and being in this school environment offers the opportunity for many models.
My students enjoy posing and since they are young they fall into the most interesting poses.
Color composition and all are very much in play within what I am doing.
“Mr. Gross. the music teacher”
As I have described in my other submission, I am an artist who is also an art teacher on the high school level.
Over the years I have approached the problem and challenge of being a working artist and teacher thusly; I paint right after school everyday.
This approach allows me to get a lot of work completed and it allows me to explore my favorite motif, painting people.
I prefer to say that I am a painter of people since the figures who pose for me are people I know. They are distinct and they have personality and I like them very much.
The energy that I get by observing and painting people directly from life is ineffable.
I never use photographs but prefer directly observed painting.
The people are there as I am painting. And that challenge with all of the problems inherent in the process is thrilling.
I am in a way, a documentarian.
Perhaps I am a romantic as well, given how much I love painting these people.
My desire to paint people has found a wonderful marriage with my profession as an art teacher.
The way I view the challenge is to work after school. Anyone in this profession will attest to the length of the day and the exhaustion of the work. However once I begin to paint, the energy and focus, and the life force which painting gives an artist surges right back.
In this painting, Danica’s Corner, I focused on one of my favorite students of that time.
She was a quiet and shy person who had nascient talent which grew exponentially after her time in the program.
She chose to sit in her “corner” of the studio when she posed for me.
“In the morning sun”
After the academic year is completed, I have had the opportunity over the past 12 years to go to Cape Cod for a period of time each summer.
My family and friends rest at the center of my life. Artists need family despite the myth of artists wanting or desiring to be alone, my feeling is we prosper within families and in community.
While on the Cape I am able to paint images of the landscape as well as my family posing for me.
Over the years, my wife has been a muse for my work. In this image she is posing in the early morning with her books in direct sunlight.
But I cannot downplay the interaction I am having with the people who become my models.
Each person is unique, and I love to paint them.