“All is grace. Nothing happens by chance, everything happens for a reason. ” – Joel Randymar
If you missed Part One of this three part blog series, follow this link because it is significant to the surprise which awaited me at The Artists Emporium in Havre de Grace, Maryland last Sunday. Gallery owner and curator, Robert Buden could not have been more accommodating when I walked in the doors – he provided me with a wonderful opportunity to talk with artist Robin Capecci about her recent painting trip abroad and to have what ended up being a private showing of ten new paintings she came home with along with others from a trip years ago. Thus, the “tag line” of her exhibition From Italy with Love. Her oils are on display at the Artist Emporium until November 26th.
When Robert introduced me to the artist, I said I was an art blogger and apologized for having arrived unannounced, “Can you spare a few minutes with me? I asked meekly.
“What artist doesn’t like to talk about her art?” she replied, as we walked together to the first of her new paintings. Curious me nearly bombarded her with questions. She was so giving of her time and so touchingly expressive of her love behind her passion for art which began at age five when she asked her mom what could she draw. They began setting up still life subjects, beginning with a single toy. From then on, she said, her love for art has not waivered as she’s moved from drawing with lead pencils, to charcoals and then began introducing color into her repertoire and finally oil paint. Her love of representational paintings of still life compositions endures until this day. She also is accomplished at portraiture and landscapes and street scenes.
At her first painting, she pointed something out to me, “See this below my signature?” she asked. I saw a painted cross. Then she began her wonderful story-telling of how her faith in God has sustained her throughout her self-taught art career. Aside from a very occasional painting workshop here and there, she never went to art school. She knew from a young age she had something special and she needed to develop it. Her early vision for herself as an artist included travel so she also began studying the Italian language on her own. She interjected many Italian phrases and words throughout our visit together, and to my unschooled ear, she sounded completely fluent.
Throughout our hour-and-a half together she often expressed how God has provided windows of opportunity and just the right people in her life. Such was the case on her recent solo trip to Italy. She is a very petite woman, much like me, and I when asked how did she handle going alone with a month’s worth of clothing and all the painting supplies, she told me the most heart-warming stories of how complete strangers, people who spoke no English or Italian were there at every turn when she needed them, and how they helped her. Many went completely out of their way to get her to where she needed to be.
“Make’s one believe in the goodness of humanity.” I remarked. Again she reiterated she’s seen evidence of it throughout her life as an artist.
She took time to discuss any of the paintings I inquired about, and we particularly honed in on her classic still life paintings. ‘I love classic representational art. It is my favorite,” I remarked. Some might argue the lack of creativity in it, however, I believe it is the best form of art to see the true skill of an artist and there is no doubt in my mind with no formal training her gift comes from God, as was exhibited in “true masters of the art world” throughout history.
I’d like to end this blog post by saying thank you to Robert Buden, Gallery Owner and Curator of The Artist’s Emporium and to Robin Capecci. She is a very warm, kind individual. I loved every minute she gave me of her generous time and her words about faith and art.
(In the dress Robin is wearing is the image of one of her paintings. A clothing manufacturer in Montreal made it for her.)
Do return next Sunday on November 13 because there was someone else, a twelve-year-old boy, I encountered on the same day. An incredible talent I wish to share with our readers.