2016 OCT - Mauro Ispani

2016 OCT - Mauro Ispani

Saturday 8 until Saturday 29

Gallery Open
Wednesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm.

About the artist
London-born, I have lived in Surrey since the age of four.

After a twenty-two year career in catering managing the family’s small group of Italian-style cafes, I returned to my childhood passion, … art.

I have always loved to draw and paint. While in catering my spare time was scarce (and output was modest in the painting department) though I continued to fill up sketch-books. I did however manage to combine business and passion, in food photography. During my degree, my work was a combination of photographic images (film not digital) and silk screen printing, and as a competent photographer I made all my own advertising food images for the cafes and also worked as a freelance food photographer for others. In my previous home I built a dark room for developing both colour and black & white work.

Some twenty years on, my artistic interests have changed. Then I was inspired by Warhol & Rauschenberg. Now its Jack Morrocco, Rubens, Titian, Boldini, Sargent and Sorolla. Its all about oil now, not ink. In 2013 I left the catering world and began painting full time. I have concentrated on still-life and recently began to paint en plein-air. As my work has progressed my attention to detail has also developed and I pay particular attention to lighting. I like to create deep shadows full of interest and bright highlights. Light and its effect on form is my inspiration.

My technique is based on the Venetian method of painting. I start with a dark ground colour; I then sketch out my arrangement with white chalk and strengthen this with white paint producing my under-painting. Then begins the over-painting: layer upon layer of very thin glazes, sometimes up to fourteen layers to achieve the desired tone. Lastly, thick buttery impasto. The paints I use are Winsor & Newton artists grade oil paints. I do not use any glaze mediums, thinners or dryers, only refined linseed oil. 

I spend on average one or two days just arranging my still-life. Then to reach the stage where my under painting is complete takes approximately thirty hours. Then starts the over painting which takes a further thirty-five to forty-five hours.

Each of my large still-life works involves between seventy and eighty-five hours of sketching and painting.

1989 - 1991 Central Saint Martins School of Art, Fine Art Print Making Degree

1987 - 1989 Epsom School of Art & Design, Fine Art Foundation