Painter of the mystical, otherworldly, sensual, and whimsical.

I'm a painter living and working in the beautiful finger-lakes region of Western New York State. I am also an avid gardener and nature lover, so the lush green rolling hills, gentle streams, and majestic lakes that surround my home in this world often appear in the fantasy worlds of my paintings.

Many of the pieces draw inspiration from folk tales, myths and legends. These "teaching tales" were what drew us together around our hearth-fires for centuries, and I believe those stories still carry power.

I enjoy looking at these ancient tales, through my eyes, and painting what I see, no matter if it's beautiful or disturbing. But what's more fun is when others can see those same paintings and find something within of value that speaks to their soul directly. I do not plan for this, but am honored when it happens, and, oh, yes, do love hearing about it every time that it happens. It reminds me that maybe we are not so different after all.

Glad to meet you, and please enjoy the paintings!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Saturno Butto: A Florentine Master in the Modern World

Above: by Saturno Bruno

High Renaissance and early Baroque painting holds a fascination for me in a way than no other artistic period or style possibly can. The meticulous attention to detail, light, shadow, reflected counter-light, textures, drapery, anatomy... For me, the art world reached its apex in the 1500's - 1600's.  Caravaggio has always been a favorite.  Artemisia Gentileschi, his contemporary, was influenced by his work, and rose to a level that was clearly on-par with his brilliance. Often, I feel I could work my entire life with the hope of being that good.
(Pictured right: Caravaggio's "Judith Beheading Holofernes," 1598.
Left: Artemisia Genteleschi's treatment of the same subject, 1614) 

Finding Saturno Butto was like finding a light in the middle of a very dark world. Here is a living painter who has the skill to paint as well as either Caravaggio or Gentileschi ever did, while throwing disturbingly modern twists such as medical equipment, modern lingerie, and weapons, into what could otherwise be a flawless reproduction of the Renaissance Masters.  Far from being a run-of-the-mill copyist, his work has its own dark, uneasy feel to it... elements of psychology and theology intertwine to create a so-real-you-could-touch-it mixture that is, somehow, both sacred and profane at the same time.

Unfortunately, his main portfolio site is possibly the most Flash-heavy piece of web-construction I've run into, making it very slow or difficult to navigate if your computer is not running at peak efficiency.  It's worth taking the time to look through, but, sadly, that may mean time, and lots of it.   Thankfully, the interwebs are vast, and he can be found just as easily on FaceBook.  The on-line gallery von Scaramouche was able to provide this intriguing interview with the Master himself. 

Von Scaramouche describes "a mawho, with the exception of a decade related to art studies, never left Bibione, a small Venetian city alongside the sea, where he lives and works," and yet can be called "one of the most captivating figurative painters around today."

For a real treat, find a time when you will not be interrupted and music by 
Claudio Monteverdi (16th century) or Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (18th century)   (This is very easy to do if you have Pandora.)  Mute your phone.  This world can wait.  Listen to the music, and loose yourself in the dark and twisted beauty of the world that lives within Saturno Butto's paintings.   

(Left and below:  various paintings by Saturno Butto) 

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