Andrea Petitto was born in rural Massachusetts where, in her youth, she had to choose between art and science. Andrea’s father had been a sculptor and Andrea grew up making things with modeling clay. Instead of the usual children's literature, as a small child Andrea was fascinated by the images in large folio books of Rodin and Michelangelo sculptures. These influences can still be seen in the strong sense of solidity and form in her paintings. In 1990, after a career as university professor and industry consultant, she moved to art. A course in oil painting in 1997 was a life changing event.
Around the turn of the century Andrea devoted herself to the study of painting and became a full-time artist with a particular passion for the human figure. She also became an avid amateur dog trainer and handler, competing at local, regional and national levels in agility. Andrea has combined her love of dogs and other animals with her interest in figural art leading to many paintings of her own dogs as well as others she encounters on the beaches of Cape Cod.
Andrea taught art classes at Finger Lakes Community College in Canandaigua NY, Cape Cod Art Association in Barnstable and Creative Arts Center, Chatham. She has had solo shows in Canandaigua and at the Copley Society in Boston, and has won many awards Rochester NY, the Copley Society in Boston, and on Cape Cod.
I have always made some kind of art. As a child, I created things with clay, and I have always made drawings of things that I like to look at or just imagine. Later in life I was introduced to oil painting and never looked back. The paint made my drawings come to life.
Painting from life, whether a figure, still life or landscape, has long been my passion. I like to get most of a painting done in one go, a la prima, to keep it fresh and lively. Brush or knife strokes are more important to me than representational detail. I like the tension between the sense of paint and surface on one hand and the illusion of form and depth in the painting on the other. I usually use a palette knife for painting because I love the crisp strokes and color patches. I try to make my subject matter look like it’s been chiseled from stone and yet alive and breathing, a contrast that is beautiful and exciting.