Louis Degni

Louis Degni

Born in 1952 in central New York State I started painting and drawing at an early age, mostly Walt Disney characters and landscapes. Teachers advised that I should receive some formal training beyond regular school but the expense of formal training was too great. Instead at the age of 14 my father arranged an apprenticeship with and Italian master heavily involved in church art murals and restoration the central New York State area. A few years later I majored in studio art, during my early college years, at the State University of Geneseo, New York. The artists I admired most were the renaissance masters, and American artists Andrew Wyeth and Norman Rockwell. By 1973 I was somewhat discouraged about the possibility of being able to support myself as an artist producing realistic works and my life circumstances changed. I needed to support a family and consequently, I stopped painting and drawing for many years except for some minor pieces for charity and personal enjoyment. More recently, with most life obligations fulfilled, I have returned to my passion of oil painting and drawing. Finally, there is nothing left to prevent me in my pursuit of art. Over the course of my life I developed this simple philosophy about artistic endeavors: “After years of training and practice I have come to believe that you are an artist until someone tells you that you are not and you actually believe that. The creative spirit lives in all of us. Only the technical pieces of observation and media usage and control need to be taught.” I spend hours looking at water, clouds and flowers before putting brush to canvas. And each time I paint a cloud or a reflection in water on a canvas I feel a great sense of joy. For me painting is both a meditative process and a way to express what I cannot say with words. Wanting to share my view of the world around me, the simple pleasures and beauty life, is my motivation for painting.” The greatest compliment I have ever received about my paintings was when someone said: “Louis, you paint from your heart.”

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