Five of My Favorite Painting Styles

I have always been a traditional art-lover through and through, but in most recent years and with all the galleries I have visited, my love for different art styles has broadened. 

Her are my top 5 favorite painting styles and why! 

  1. Impressionism, why? Because Renoir is the man! Developed in Paris in the 1860s, the impressionist movement spread like wild-fire through Europe. The strokes used to paint an impressionist painting were looser, yet subtly defined with vivid colors. The impressionist artists were given freedom to shatter the linear traditional styles of earlier times by avoiding clarity and precise definition in their paintings. Some of my favorite impressionist painters include, Claude Monet, Vincent Van Gogh, Pierre-Auguste Renior, Edgar Degas, Edouard Manet and Auguste Rodin.
  2. Abstract Art began in New York in the 1940s and 1950s. It took a while for abstract paintings to grow on me. I am happy it did, because as time passes I become more intrigued, impressed and inspired by abstract art. What I love most about it is the limitless boundaries one approaches when admiring the works of others', and while painting abstractly for oneself. Abstract artists who capture me are Pablo Picasso, Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock and Henri Matisse. I highly recommend checking out some of their work.
  3. Photorealism came forth in the same period as Conceptual art, Pop art and Minimalism. Every time I encounter a piece of art from a photorealist, I wonder, is it a photograph, or not? I am always fascinated by the incredible skill of artists who create these precise and realistic styles of paintings. The first up-close painting I saw of the super famous Chuck Close was at the Met, and I almost tripped over the red rope that separates us from getting too close to the painting, because I kept moving in closer and closer to the enormous portrait of "Mark." A few other photorealist painters who I love are Andy Warhol and David Kassan.
  4. Expressionism emerged in Germany. The movement lasted from about 1905 to 1920. For the expressionist painter, art came forth from within as opposed to efforts to depict the external world. These paintings captured the artist's emotional reaction to an ever-changing and advancing world. One of the most well known examples of this style is The Scream by Edvard Munch. I truly appreciate the emotionally charged swirles and strokes, along with the vivid and vibrant colors that make-up the expressionist style. Additional expressionist artists to look out for are Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Ernest Ludwig Kirchner and Franz Marc. 
  5. Post Painterly Abstract represents a variety of styles that express a painterly approach to Abstract Expressionism. The term was coined by Clement Greenberg in 1964. The Post Painterly Abstract style is linear, but free, and showcases a child-like spirit through the bold colors and fun movement. Every time I encounter one of these paintings, it reminds me of the endless creative possibilities of art! Some artists to check out from this genre include, Morris Louis, Frank Stella and Helena Frankenthaler.
Well, there you have it, my five favorite painting styles and a few artists who best represent each genre.  I recommend viewing their works. Who knows, maybe a flicker of inspiration, or perhaps even a large flame could be ignited! 

The Evolution of Paint

Dear All,

Have you ever wondered about the history of paint? Maybe you have taken for granted how accessible paint is today to artists and non-artists alike. 

In the Stone Age, for example, cave-art was created with rocks, red ochre and black pigment. Today there are so many different types of paints and brands that it can be overwhelming to choose one.

During the Renaissance, painters had to grind pigment to create their own paint. How organic, right? Well the problem with these types of 'homemade' paints is that they dried-out really fast restricting artists who used them to studio painting only. The most effective way to use these types of paints was to mix two colors at a time, while filling in the ares where that particular color was required before the paint would completely dry-out. 

The breakthrough...

In 1841 the American artist,  John G. Rand, invented the small flexible tin tube with removable cap to store oils in. By the way, without this "minor" invention my favorite period of art, the Impressionist movement, would not have emerged! Today, artists are spoiled, as they now have an extensive selection of paints that free them from the studio and allow them to create art in many different environments.

Thank you, Mr. Rand!

A list of the most common used paint:

  • Oil paint 
  • Acrylic paint 
  • Watercolor 
  • Gouache
  • Ink 
Artists have different preferences for which medium they choose to work with. Each one produces a different look depending on the type of surface they are painted on. Oil paint is a pigment which requires the drying of oil as the binder. Acrylic paint is water-soluble, but becomes water resistant when it drys. Watercolor is a paint that is mixed with water instead of oil, most common used to paint on paper. Gouache paint is centuries old with characteristics of acrylic and watercolor. There are different types of ink which have been around for a very long time. It is made out of using carbon black and white pigments and may contain additives like wax, surfactants and lubricants. 

Next time you stop by your local arts and craft store, thank John G. Rand and science for making paint so accessible to all. I wonder what the continual evolution of paint will bring us years down the road? I am excited to find out! 

Happy painting friends! 

Art Districts: Overlooked Locations

Hello There,

This morning while going over a list I made of art-exhibitions I wish to visit this summer, I realized something. In the past, while visiting art galleries in Connecticut, I have always taken note of the neighborhoods and towns they are located in. Contrary to museums, galleries thrive on art-sales, and location is everything when trying to attract the right art-buyers. As a result, most art galleries in Connecticut tend to be located in upper-class neighborhoods, where dropping large sums of money on a painting is no big deal. 

So I decided to do a search on the web for Contemporary art gallery to see if a listing of locations would come up. Wikipedia was the first to appear on the google search engine with the following information under districts:
 Art districts  
Galleries tend to cluster in certain neighborhoods within cosmopolitan cities for economic and practical reasons, mainly that it is possible for the buyers and general public to view more art if they can travel by foot. In the past galleries have tended to cluster in neighborhoods with affordable real-estate due to the unprofitable nature of the business. However, in the 21st century art galleries are strongly associated with the process of gentrification, and prime real estate for Chelsea galleries is not affordable for unprofitable galleries. Generally, cities that have less centralized art districts are faring poorly in terms of market share.
         List of art districts by area name, city and country
Not one Connecticut town mentioned! I was thrilled to learn that edits can be easily made to wikipedia's posts and added the district of Fairfield county.
         List of art districts by area name, city and country
Fairfield County, Connecticut, is known for its upper-class life style, expensive restaurants, boutiques and art-galleries. However, in comparison to larger cities such as New York, relatively small locales like Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Westport or Fairfield are often over-looked, such as in the Wikipedia post.  

Needless to say, there are thousands of contemporary art galleries in the United States, most of which are not listed on Wikipedia. Hopefully, other art lovers who see their cities and towns missing from the list will be inspired to add to this post.

Do you know of an art district not listed here?

If so, then please consider adding it so another fellow art hunter may take a visit.

Happy editing!     

Get Your Art-Loving Self to Sorelle: A Review

I have spent quite some time visiting galleries in the East Coast, and of all the places to explore art, Sorelle Gallery offers an eclectic collection exhibiting works of over 50 artists from around the world.

Sorelle Gallery is located in the pristine and charming downtown area of New Canaan, CT.  Surrounded by unique boutiques, coffee shops and arguably the best restaurants in all of Fairfield County, the gallery and its surroundings can make for an unforgettable art experience. With just a five minute walk from the Metro North train station, you'll stroll through Elm St. where you'll encounter an array of visitors who come to take advantage of New Canaan's many beautiful features, including The Glass House. 

Sorelle steals the show... the walls are filled with a perfect mix and match of texture induced by traditional and modern art. Whatever type of art you enjoy, the gallery will have something for you to fall in love with. In addition to paintings, the gallery exhibits photography by the reputable Kimerlee Curyl, unique mirror art by Alina B, stoneware by Regis Brodie, driftwood sculptures by Rita Dee, ceramics by the talented Jill Fishon-Kovachick and aluminum works by Rob Sorenson.

In addition to the lineup of impressive artists being showcased, the Sorelle team welcomes its art-lovers with much excitement. They are extremely knowledgeable of the works exhibited and quite the talented artist themselves. See a piece you love while visiting the gallery? Wonder how it would look in your home? One of the gallery's many unique features is to have a painting digitally imposed on your wall, offering a realistic visual of what it would look like should you purchase it! Thirsty? Swing by the refreshment table for a cup of fresh lemon water, coffee, tea and or a glass of wine... yes, please!

Example of a digitally imposed painting:


There are hundreds of galleries in the East Coast that carry impressive artwork, however, Sorelle Gallery stands out for much more than its collection. There have been many times when I have walked through the doors of a gallery I was excited to visit, and barely stayed because the vibe was off, the mood was unwelcoming and the staff uninterested. At Sorelle, they are respectful of your private space while making you feel right at home. It may not be the biggest gallery in Fairfield County, but it is certainly one of the most welcoming, treating it's art hunters' (such as myself) with as much appreciation and value as the pieces hung on the walls. 

For more information please check out the gallery's website at

Arted-out? Great, time to eat!

Did you know art will increase your appetite? It's the truth; it's also true that I will find any excuse possible to eat! So, you should too! Once you have fed your mind, you must feed your body. Rosie is located on Elm Street, just a short 3 minute walk from the gallery. There, you will find one of the best avocado toasts you've ever tried! As it suggests on the cover of its menu, when you "TASTE THE LOVE," you will certainly want to come back for more.


 Visit their website: 
 What are you waiting for? 

   Get your art-loving-self to Sorelle!

Less is More

When you visit an exhibit at an art gallery or museum, less is more. If you wish to have a vivd memory of the art-work for years to come, I would advise that you stick to viewing only one specific exhibition. Typically, there are numerous exhibitions on display, and it would seem to make sense to see as many as you can. You would think that the more art that you viewed during one visit the better your experience would be, but I would argue the opposite; in my experience the more art you try to cram in, the less you will remember.

I had always wanted to see the works of Winslow Homer, and a few years ago I received a tip that a special exhibition would be on display at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA. The museum was a two and half hour drive from my house in CT. Two days before the trip, I was discussing art with a curator friend who advised me on sticking only to viewing the Homer's exhibit, although there would be many other things to see. At first, I thought this was  absurd, since it would be my first time attending and the museum was a long drive away so naturally, I wanted to get the most of my trip. But I took her advice and spent a long time only in the Winslow Homer exhibit. As I walked the floor with my electronic gadget that would tell the story of each painting, I got lost in the art; I can still recall each painting as vividly as the day I saw them.

So trust me, when it comes to viewing art, less is more. Certainly, you will find those who will argue that it is best to see as much as possible, especially if you are not a frequent visitor to galleries or museums. At first glance, their opinion might sound persuasive and you may be tempted to "get the most bang for your buck" by viewing as many exhibits as possible. But if you do that, you will be physically and intellectually drained, and you will not want to visit another gallery or museum any time soon. So don't overdo it; you will have a much better experience if you focus on one exhibit per trip.

MET Musings!

Have you ever found yourself completely lost? I am not talking about the physical sense of being lost, but rather the emotional way that observing and experiencing art can make you lost! 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, also known as the Met, is the most perfect place to get lost in art. Located in New York City, it is the largest art museum in the United States and among the most visited in the world. The Met was incorporated on April 13, 1870 by a group of businessmen, financiers, artists, and cultural enthusiasts. Their main purpose of opening the Metropolitan Museum of Art was to bring art and art education to the American people. It first opened to the public in the Dodsworth Building at 681 Fifth Avenue.  Today it is located on 1000 5th Avenue and is made up of 2 million square feet of floor space, more then 20 times the size of the original 1880 building. 

The musem carries over two million works of art and is separated by seventeen departments, each with a full, specialized staff of curators.  In addition, it has six conservation departments and a Department of Scientific Research. The museum's permanent collection includes paintings and sculptures from classical antiquity, ancient Egypt, Europe, America, Africa, Asia, Oceanian, Byzantine and Islamic art. The Met also is home to musical instruments, costumes and accessories, and antique weapons and armor from around the world. As if the Mets impressive permanent collection wasn't enough,  the museum also hosts traveling shows throughout the year. 

In 2016 the museum recorded a total of 6.7 million visitors from 190 countries, with 40 percentage of its visitors being from within the United States. The Met allows its visitors to temporarily travel the world through time without ever having to leave New York City. Could there be a better place to find yourself lost in art? 

For more on the Met, please visit their official website at, and while you're there you should also subscribe to the Met's blog and stay up to date on shows and special exhibitions.  


Dear Reader, 

       My name is Rafaella and I invite you to embark with me on the most enlightening journey in the pursuit of art. Together, we will experience all genres of art while I visit galleries and museums in near and far places. My wish is that this blog will spark in you a desire to experience the places I'll be exploring and writing about for yourself, and hopefully in the process allow the works of art we encounter to touch you in such a way that will change you... perhaps forever! 

Let's get started!