I began to paint seriously during the Y2K holiday weekend, reasoning that if the world was going to end at the millennium, I was going to go out painting! I started with a still-life then I finished a painting of Mt. Hood that had been hidden in a closet for 18 years. Next I moved onto a Nude that is now part of a private collection. There were a couple of landscapes and even a foray into acrylic paintings over the next several years. But I always returned to my first love: oil. Perhaps the smell of linseed oil or even turpentine lured me back. When I retired from my private sector career at the end of 2010, I decided to focus on the creative outlet that feeds my soul: painting.
I immediately licensed the Casa di Parisi name as homage to my late father, Peter R. Parisi, who was an artist and first generation Sicilian-American. He was raised on Manhattan’s Lower East Side and graduated from what is now the Cooper Union School of Industrial Design. After retiring from his sales career in the art and school supply industry, he rekindled his love of painting. Although he focused on portraits and still-life, he retained his eye for a compelling composition and classic design.
My geometric logo is loosely patterned after the hand-painted kitchen wall in my childhood home, and the colors were inspired by an "outdoor design feature" at our cabin on the Oregon coast. All these things factored into how my studio and its name came to be.
But it all started when I took a ceramics course in college and became obsessed with the notion of becoming a potter. After my first oil painting class and a marginally successful landscape, Dad encouraged me to focus on my painting, believing I had some level of aptitude. He said “You’re a better painter than a potter. And maybe you should learn to type.”
I was so discouraged by my father’s advice that I shifted to a career in business. While I had some formal art education and had planned to pursue art as a profession, I worked in human resources for nearly 15 years before earning my undergraduate degree from the only college then offering a degree in that field. I didn’t paint seriously until retiring at the end of 2010 after another 15 years in HR.
And so began the next chapter…