Here is the finished top two-thirds of my new drawing/painting. I’m still working on the bottom third, which will be the eventual focus of the piece. My goal has been to pull the viewer into the world I’m creating, and I’ve been attempting this by heightening the three-dimensional aspects of the image through shadow, shape, light and color — thereby making the image seem “more real than real.” In addition, I am directing the eye inward and down through movement in the composition (the shape of the trees, the path of the birds, etc.), while using pencil for background images and paint for foreground images. (Gouache has an incandescent glow to it, so it’s perfect for aspen leaves.) Lastly, I’m hoping the use of intense detail, down to the smallest leaf, will draw the viewer into the piece all the more. …


May 2022

Here are a few updates of my work on a new drawing/painting, Anime gemelle (Soulmates). I will post more photos as work continues.

Copyright © 2022 Henry Gerard Catenacci

I thought I should mention this, since it throws light upon my work. For as far back as I can remember, and up until I was about five or six years old, I had a vivid recurring dream that I was lying on my back on the floor of a forest, looking up through the trees. I knew I was wounded and, I think, a soldier of some sort left there to die. I also knew I would not be found for a very long time, if ever. Frightened, unable to move, and soon to become part of the undergrowth, I was nonetheless enthralled by the beauty of the trees and the forest around me. This dream has stayed with me all my life and has influenced a great deal of my artwork. Nel bosco (In the Woods) is undoubtedly the most direct reference, yet the four seasons series of the boy in the forest is definitely another retelling of the dream — or perhaps the memory of a former life.

My eyesight is not great. I’m blind in my left eye and severely nearsighted in my right. Still, at around age three, I decided that I wanted to start expressing my vision of the world around me on paper for others to see. Actually, I tended to warp and distort my vision of this world into visions of other worlds — the worlds inside my head. (As Nietzsche said, “No artist tolerates reality.”) Self taught, I searched over the years for a medium and style that would work best for me, something that would allow me to create art yet use my “liabilities” as assets. This is why I now work so close to the page, why I delve into levels of detail most people can see only with a magnifying glass. It comes naturally to me. I’m that nearsighted. Besides, as a lovely bonus, the detail pulls the viewer into my work (and the world inside my work) with a subtle precision. That’s what I’ve wanted all along.

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Just finished this little fox. …