Artist Brian DiNicola
For the entire month of April, 2019, the Koussevitzky Art Gallery is showcasing the work of artist Brian DiNicola, who is a traditional media based artist. He received his BFA in Illustration from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in 2011. Upon graduating he enrolled in their MFA program in Painting. He graduated in 2013 and immediately began applying his work to exhibitions and galleries.
Within the past six years, Brian has exhibited forty-seven times. His work has traveled to Boston, California, New York, Chicago, Connecticut, and even Canada. Brian’s paintings circulate in print and locally in the Berkshires. He pursues competitions frequently to advance his professional record. More recently, ‘Richeson Competitions’ and Trekell Art Supplies/Gamblin Colors featured Brian’s portraits through juried contests.
Brian supports his craft by staying disciplined. He keeps active sketchbooks and seeks the resources needed. Brian focuses foundation skills - using the methods of portraiture to test his knowledge. Brian continues to refine his portfolio and apply it to the professional landscape.
Above: Artist Brian DiNicola's self portrait
I am a traditional artist. I paint and sketch with wondrous fascination. Oil painting is my primary allure. I’m drawn to its lineage and the spice of “Rock ‘n Roll” it has acquired. Oil painting takes patience and the use of real instruments. It’s textured and time consuming. The labors of creation are always evident on the surface. Sure, new media has evolved and there are other devices artists can use to create. But oil painting has remained relevant and is the cornerstone of visual arts.
Portraiture is the crux of my work and it keeps intensifying. I’m endlessly curious about the labors involved. I use materials that compliment my habits. Currently, I paint on oil primed or linen primed birch panels from Trekell Artist Supplies. These substrates allow me to control brush-marks, transparencies, and volumes of paint. They’re rigid and versatile, suiting an abundance of techniques. I spend a healthy amount of time on my palette. I exercise it to keep it healthy. I do small studies before leaping into final paintings. I use my “mainstay” colors alongside some additional, obscure pigments. I try to restrict my palette in order to maintain cohesion. I combine my paints with Gamblin gel mediums. They replicate the behaviors of matte medium, which I commonly used learning with acrylics. The more I work with what’s comfortable the less time I spend fumbling around. It’s taken me years to shape my practice, but my habits are set so I can build not block.
I pursue galleries and exhibitions to showcase my work. I focus on shows that embody figurative work. In the beginning, I submitted to every/all listing that dealt with my portfolio. I went to every/all exhibit where my work was featured. I learned which exhibits we more profitable and than others. Not just in sales, but in the return of meeting other artists. There is another form of currency and that’s people. The relationships I’ve made are worth more than any check I’ve cashed. These professionals help me knock on doors. They provide me with opportunities and information on what shows to truly invest in.
My work gets rejected frequently, it’s just part of the trade. Not everyone is going to find my work appealing. This profession ebbs and flows unpredictably. I celebrate all ups and downs inherent with this craft.
There’s no substitution for hard work. Paint and pencil aren’t improving with idle hands. I’m still grinding away. I keep pushing my limits and seeing balanced outcomes. Perpetual competent painting is my goal. I want to be consistent. I still encounter snags and hiccups along the way. It’s frustrating to be thrown out of rhythm and wander off track. Like a needle occasionally skipping across a wax record. I’m trying to play rock ‘n roll without any sporadic interruptions. It’s frustrating at times, but that’s what makes painting insatiable. The uncertainties offer so much allure. To have an idea and hope it resembles what I’ve visualized. I like 80s rock, classic films, and nerdist culture. Painting is my vehicle to drive these wonders from thought to surface.