Friday, June 7, 2013

Artist Spotlight: Leonora Volpe

Leonora Volpe of San Antonio, TX, is this month's Spotlight Artist. If you would like to be in the spotlight, please email your information to Anna at

Artist's Statement:

"Beauty in art is not just which is seen, it is the transcendent, spiritual exchange between the heart of the object and the heart of the seeker." (Quote by my dear artist friend, John Kopecky)

Artist Biography:

Artist Leonora Volpe
Leonora Volpe has loved and appreciated fine art since her childhood years. As a kindergarten student she was so excited to have her turn painting on the big easel. The big easel has the same place today in her life. The gratification is received when she delivers her Portraits. Leonora also has become fond of painting family heirlooms that have been passed down from generations, which are traditionally in all of her still life's.

Some of her favorite subjects are children and women, they seem to have so much in their eyes. They say your eyes are the windows to your soul. Leonora feels there is a need to paint them. She likes to personally meet with her subjects and interact with them, the same with her objects in her still life's. "Everything has a past that tells us something, it's like a mystery of where it has been, and who has touched it," Leonora says. The only things in her still life paintings that are new are fruit or flowers.

"Effervescence" - 20x16 - by Leonora Volp
Leonora has had some brush time with some well known artists but for the most part of learning, she is self taught. She has painted off and on for many years, but the past three years she decided to pursue it as a career. She is a licensed realtor and still devotes her time working with newlyweds, first time home buyers and anyone who needs her services. Her clients enjoy a gift of art at closing. She has painted many famous and not so famous people as well as horse portraits. Recently she was drawn to a homeless person who had a dog and she had to paint their love. A little girl at the McNay feeding the ducks, a woman praying, and a woman sitting in a field soaking in the warmth of life. Cowboys have been a fond subject as well, and what's a cowboy without a cowgirl.

"Something has to inspire me to paint it, but I love almost everything, I hope I can finish all the paintings in my head before I go home with the Lord, so I'm working hard, I know I'll still have an easel up there".

Interview with Spotlight Artist for June, Leonora Volpe:

"Colander and Red Onions" - 12x16 - by Leonora Volpe
1) When and how did you first became seriously interested in art? When I was in kindergarten the teacher gave everyone a turn on the easel. The first time I took up that brush I had a PASSION in me. I loved art in any form. I would draw on almost anything I would find. At 13 years old I was commissioned to do my first portrait.

2) What is your training, and what medium(s) / subject matter do you work in? I am basically self taught and about four years ago I decided to really understand what I was doing and looked for someone to help me. It was then I discovered Ron Watkins portrait painter who gave me some lessons. I then painted with live models. My favorite medium is oils. I have worked with Kathryn Stats, Larry Prellop, William Kalwick, Janice Hindes, Kaye Franklin, Ron Watkins and have attended every demo of a well known artist in my area.

3) What do you express in your work? I like to find the person behind the face if its a portrait. I guess you would say their spirit, so I spend time with them, still lifes I like to find beauty in simple things that are part of everyday life. My favorite is painting family heirlooms. Landscapes I love sunsets. I like animals especially horses and pets as well. I guess I find deep meaning in allot of things but sometimes I am compelled to paint something. Especially CHILDREN, I love them.

4) What artists/professionals have been your  biggest influences? Cesar Santos has had a big influence on me as well as Richard Schmid and Daniel Keys. I love Bouguereau‘s work. I love the realism.

"Dorothy and Her Babies" - 18x24 - by Leonora Volpe

"Imagination" - 20x16 - by Leonora Volpe

"Lil' Rancher" - 8x10 - by Leonora Volpe
5) What do you do to gain new inspiration for your work? Inspiration is something I have looking at people. I am fascinated with people. All so different and interesting. I love people with vivacious personalities. I guess that's why I love children. I also need to have a small day trip to get away from my regular surroundings.

6) What would you like to be doing with your art ten years from now? . Ten years from now I hope I can paint all I see in my heart and head. I hope to be noticed for my type of work. I think I am still developing my style. I had to put my art on hold to raise my five children. Now I am enjoying time with my grandchildren,I have 12 of them.

"W.T. Mayfield Rancher" - 36x24
by Leonora Volpe
7) Do you set goals for yourself concerning the making of your art? I set goals for sure. My goal is to always paint that next painting the best. Better than the last one. I want to be a Master Signature member of OPA and be recognized as a excellent portrait painter in the Portrait Society.

8) Are you happy with your job choice as an artist? Do you have any regrets in this career choice or things you would have done differently? At this point in my life I am going forward and not moving from my desire as an artist. I am in my retirement years and want to do what I enjoy and share my work with other people. I am a realtor part time and watch one of my grandchildren during the day. So I paint all night till I cant keep my eyes open. Family is very important to me. So I look into my grand daughters eyes and watch her smile and that's my inspiration.

9) Any fun or interesting facts about yourself that you'd like to share? The fun thing is I think I'm 25 years old. I plan on painting a lot of paintings in the next year. I was juried into the salon international in 2012 and sold my piece before I brought it in. 

10) Best piece of advice for other artists? My best piece of advice is to be true to yourself. Learn the basics of value and color. The big one is, if you can’t see it you can’t paint it. An artists eye is well trained to see differently than just a casual look. Only watch people paint that you want to learn from.

"Scarlet Summer" - 12x9 - by Leonora Volpe
- Accepted into the "Rites of Spring" Juried Show at the Dutch Art Gallery, April 2013
- Accepted into the 1st Annual OPA Salon Show in Petosky, MI for "Reflections in Red":

Phone: 210-313-3673

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