Artist Rose Capanna: “Such a sense of peace when I paint.”

Poppies

Poppies

When California resident Rosemary Capanna started posting photos on social media of oil paintings she’d created using a palette knife, she never expected such a tremendous response.

“I started posting the paintings for the feedback and the reaction was very positive. I have very supportive friends,” Capanna said. She added their support has been both “motivational and inspiring.”

Capanna, an accomplished graphic/web designer by trade, said she first became interested in art as a young child, a spark further ignited by art teachers who encouraged her in her early pursuits. As a teen, she designed posters for church and youth groups. At California State College, she took a pottery course and was further driven to follow her passion for visual arts. But it wasn’t until fairly recently she revealed her love of and talent for oil painting to others.

“I’ve always been into creative things,” she said, but largely limited her creativity to avenues like graphic design, which she enjoys but called one-dimensional. “For years, I painted in secret,” she said.

Capanna’s technique of applying oil paint to canvas via palette knife is quite unique.

“It’s a faster way to paint. It’s more immediate,” she said about the process.

Alice's Cannas

Alice’s Cannas

The result is a vibrant mix of what she terms “impressionism and abstract” which is fitting considering she counts VanGogh among her artistic influences.

In addition to the Masters, she draws inspiration from looking at family photos and is fascinated by history. She’s spent extensive time researching her own genealogy, in particular her rich Italian heritage. That research proved to her she hails from a creative family.

A proud California native, she said she is also inspired by looking at photos of her hometown, then and now.

Capanna said she prefer to paint in the morning when the light is better but has learned to adapt to gloomy, dark days by using a sunlight.

Speaking of gloomy, dark days, Capanna, an energetic and lively personality whose accomplishments include organizing a Community Watch group and a bid for mayor, explained it was a fairly recent diagnosis of Meniere’s Disease that motivated her  return to the painting studio.

It’s difficult to remain dismal looking at Capanna’s colorful paintings. Simple yet brilliantly hued, their subjects include nature and landscapes.
Though she launched a web site to display and potentially sell her paintings,  it’s all about the art for her, no commerce.

“I’m more interested in the process,” she said, though she’s open to taking commissions and has sold a few paintings since first revealing her work online.

Dia's Dahlia

Dia’s Dahlia

Above all, Capanna said she’s driven to paint because of the medium’s expressive and therapeutic nature.

“I love to express myself, and I just get such a sense of peace when I’m painting,” she said.

To view more of Capanna’s work, visit her site: artonmalden.com
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Story by Carla E. Anderton & Allen Free for Pennsylvania Bridges

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