Josephine has been sketching and painting for over 20 years, with her body of work including a wide variety of techniques and media. Recently, her work has focused on the use of watercolour, charcoal, and soft pastel to translate and interpret elements of the North American wilderness landscape.
Where were you born?
I was born in a small village called Pisterzo (near Rome) in Italy. I came to Canada with my family when I was 4 1/2 and lived in the northern community of Timmins, Ontario. After that, I moved to Toronto and received a BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) from York University, a Bachelor of Education from the University of Toronto, and attended OCAD (Ontario College of Art) for three years. I currently live in Richmond Hill and teach visual arts in an elementary private school, as well as teaching adult art classes and conducting workshops for various art groups.
If you could have an art related vacation anywhere in the world where would you go and why?
In the last number of years, I have enjoyed travelling to places that are remote, serene, and inspirational. I have been to the High Arctic, Newfoundland, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, Alberta, British Columbia, Algonquin Park, Texas, and most recently New Mexico. If I could go anywhere in the world, I would wish to go back to Ellesmere Island, in the Arctic. The surroundings are so surreal and beautiful. I would also like to go to Italy and spend more time in New Mexico. I love the rocks, the mountains and the colours you can experience in those places.
What's your favourite thing to create and why?
I love creating images of places that move and inspire me . In those places one gets a sense of self and a sense of oneness with the universe.
I remember receiving an award at school in grade 3 for a painting of mountains with trees and a stream running through it. I guess I have always been drawn to nature and to those places. My mom also bought me an oil paint-by-number set when I was in grade 3 and I remember enjoying filling in the tiny spaces with colours which in the end produced a remarkable scene.
Do you have go-to-paint colours that you love to use in your artwork?
I especially love mixing grays from the primaries and I make sure to have a lot of my favourite primary colours in my paintbox. I use Winsor Newton Watercolour paints.
I have always enjoyed Picasso's classical period, Matisse's line, Georgia O'Keefe's simplicity of shape and colour, Lawren Harris's spirituality, Franklin Carmichael's contrasts, and Vermeer's use of light and dark.. I have also been inspired by several local artists and teachers over the years.
My teaching has been very rewarding and I enjoy hearing my students tell me that they have come to appreciate and observe nature in a way that they did not before. I have also won several awards including "Best in Watercolour" at the Aurora Juried Art show, "Best Transparent Colour" at the Toronto Watercolour Society Juried show, and People's Choice Award at the Bayview Watercolour Society Juried show. One of my paintings has been reproduced in a book entitled "Connecting With Nature" and I have had another painting included in "The Bruce Trail Calendar", both of which have raised funds for the conservation and preservation of our local environment.
If you could have three wishes as an artist, what would they be?
I would wish to be able to devote my full time to my art, to have a studio with lots of windows, and to be able to keep on painting for as long as possible.
What is the best advice you have received as an artist?
To draw, sketch, or paint a little every day.
Gray - as it is a mixture of all the colours.