Welcome to Portfolio of the Week! We are delighted to present Ugo Paradiso from Olathe, KS, USA.

Ugo creates harmonious, realistic art that is full of life. Working primarily in pastels and sometimes in pencil, his main subjects are portraits (human and animal), landscapes and still lifes. To see more of Ugo' artwork, visit his gallery: http://community.art-is-fun.com/photo/photo/listForContributor?scre...

When you view his portfolio, be sure to click on the images to view them larger to admire his skill with pastels.

Please join us for this interview with Ugo:

How would you describe your art?  

My art comes literally from my soul. I use colors that are in harmony to each other and that express the "meaning" and mood of the painting. I like to get my painting so that they are full of life!

How long have you been an artist and how did you become an artist?

I have been an artist since I was a kid, I would use pencils or pens and just draw things out. I always wanted to go to art school but I never had the chance as my dad in Italy could not afford it. That was a "lost dream" that I revitalized about 3 years ago when I got some pencils and started to draw again after maybe 25 years!!! Thank you to the ART Colony for inspiring me to do art!

What is your favorite medium and why?

I love pastels as they are what I know how to use. I am self taught and I love the vibrancy and colors in pastels. Additionally, that is what I could afford to buy a few years ago!

What are some of the challenges in working in your preferred medium? 

Well in working with pastels I had several challenges... mainly when to blend them and how to make a light reflection.  I get fascinated by the reflection of the light in general. I know by now that as an artist I have the challenge to make the focus point of a painting stand out. So i figure out a way to combine the right colors. This is not easy sometimes. I tend to be a perfectionist and I know that I have to exaggerate the highlights and the darks in a very creative way. I also stand back several times during a painting a find what I could do better!

Pick one work of art from your Art Colony portfolio and tell us the story behind it. Why does this piece have meaning to you? What steps did you take to create the piece?

This is hard to choose! Every peace of art has a story behind it. I would choose "soft pastel painting" (shown left). This was a challenging one!  I wanted to create a piece of art that has a glass reflection in it. I took a glass and some fruit from my kitchen, laid it down on some creamy covers and I took a picture with my iPhone. I wanted to take my own photograph and come up with a painting. So I printed the picture, went in my art room and drew the composition with a pastel pencil and here we go! I stayed up for 2 nights in the raw. The last night was till 2:00am!! The next day I did a few changes and I got what I wanted.

Tell us about one medium, technique or style that you would like to try working with (that you have not tried before) and why you would like to try this.

I would like to try painting in watercolors. I like watercolor as you can get such a soft feel and I love that "style" in art!

How do you make time for art?

Well, I usually do it when I am not working on weekends or at night when my family is sleeping! I find that I can go in "my own world" and paint.

If you could imagine the “perfect art day” for yourself, what would it be like?

My perfect art day would be to be recognized as a fine artist, being able to do it full time and make a living from the sale of my artwork.  Although, to be honest, I am very attached to my artwork and have a hard time letting it go to a new home.

If you could spend 24 hours with one artist, living or historical, who would you want to spend the day with and why? What would the two of you do?

I would love to spend time with Kari Tirrell, for example, or any fine artist. I love her style!! Any "fine artist" would be a "dream come true!" I would love to ask technical questions on pastels or just watch them doing one. I never had the experience to see someone else do any artwork! Sad but true! For me, artists see the world in a different way and are very special people. Artists bring "life to the eyes of the world". I love the idea of expressing one's idea, materializing it in a drawing or painting and communicating the feeling and mood! Creation is the most valuable thing in this UNIVERSE and artists create this world!

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Hi Susanne,
Lol! Glad you signed up here too! I actually started pretty much with Atc with my art so I will always be a member and share with other artist! Glad you liked my art work! Who knows...you may be the one selected next week! lol!
Have a great day my friend!

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