Italian artist Laura Fantini, who divides her time between Bologna, Italy and Brooklyn, NY, creates large scale images of intimate still life subjects.
Her compositions feature unassumingly simple objects like leaves, seed pods and flower blossoms, rendered in large sizes, perhaps 30×40 inches (74x98cm). Her subjects are observed with the precision of botanical art, but presented with a visual drama and freshness that pull them out of their normal context and present them to us as something to be viewed and considered anew.
She works primarily in colored pencil, a medium that seldom receives the respect warranted by the effects that can be achieved in the hands of an artist like Fantini. She procedes by working up layers and layers of intricate cosshatching, gradually building up her subtle areas of color.
There are photographs, though not descriptions, of her working process in the In Progress section of her website.
The major presentation of work on her website is in three sections but you will also find a gallery of cityscapes — works in gouache, ink pastel and colored pencil in a photorealist vein, as well as portraits and a section of sketches.
The use of colored pencil, like pastel, can blur the definitions of “drawing” and “painting”. Fantini’s finished works combine elements of both, but her sketches (images above, second from bottom) are firmly in the category of drawings, and have their own aesthetic and visual appeal.
Fantini also maintains a blog, with announcements of shows and images of work in progress.