Recently I had the wonderful opportunity to interview the extremely talented and passionate Plein Air Artist, Kathy Delumpa Allegri and ask her a few questions…
Tell us a little about yourself and your journey as an artist.
At age 3, my mother handed me colored chalk to draw whatever I wanted on the large kitchen wall. She also gave me a rag to clean it. In 1966 at University of California, Davis, I took art foundation courses with Prof. Wayne Thiebaud, a world-renown artist whose work is in major museums and galleries.
I started painting in oil. Years later, with a growing family, watercolor was expeditious for clean-up, and for teaching my children to paint. I worked from home as a graphic artist, received my Bachelor of Science in Art, and then, pursued fine art painting, full-time. I love nature, and began en plein air painting in 1992.
What is essential to your work as an artist?
Attitude. Getting outside of ego and treating my work as process allow me to maintain a humble and yet, confident and very passionate approach. So, I see no value in trying to impress anyone. I express daily gratitude for the opportunity to create. Assuming the posture of a child, on my toes, in wonder, is how I open the door of each new day.
Being in the present and embracing possibilities. I make my living as an artist. It is not a hobby. When some months are a financial challenge, I discern what I know and can do now, act, evaluate, which leads greater understanding, growth, and resolution.
Filling in gaps and tapping resources. My discernment process allows me to identify my weaknesses to develop a positive outcome. I lack marketing skills and techno-savvy, so, in order to focus on creating art, I enlisted Lora Fisher to represent me. This mutual trust will lead to great rewards for both of us! I’m blessed to have a network of fellow artists, to share our common and uncommon experiences, enjoy camaraderie, and to critique work.
Commitment to family and friends. I have a loving, close, creative family. Each adult child and grandchild is independent, generous, and successful. Channeling Benjamin Franklin, I have a few (true) friends, and (hopefully), no enemies!
What inspires and motivates you?
Cultural Heritage. My work became more personal when I re-discovered my rich cultural heritage. We immigrated to America in 1949 from the war-torn Philippines. It inspired my heritage series, beginning in 2000.
Science. I’ve always embraced Physics. Upon understanding relativity, energy, even the organic nature of the earth, for example, I am in awe of sunsets and sunrises. I feel the closure to a not-so-good day, as Gamboge fades to neutrality, and then, hope that abounds with the first Aureolin flash of dawn. I understand the seasonal color palette, the random predictability of a field of wild flowers.
The Work and Life of Artists and Scientists. These artists inspire me: Berte Morrisot, Mary Cassat, Georgia O’Keeffe, Vassily Kandinsky, Claude Monet, and Antonio Allegri di Correggio, and of course, Leonardo Da Vinci. My favorite scientists are Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, and Jonas Salk.
How has art changed your life?
Art, in all its forms, expresses relationships. I’ve learned more about life through visual art, music, writing, and dance. Every design element and principle of art applies to the real world. Translate that to human relationships, and I’ve learned to see different perspectives, and to be compassionate. Because of art, I speak six languages, three of which I knew as a child. Such a simple word has infinite power to transform and empower.
What is the most memorable response you have had with regards to your work?
There’s a tie between two events, a bit amusing: After I completed Phase 1 at a mural project in California, two Latina women stopped and prayed at the centerpiece wall, which depicts the pre-Silicon Valley orchards. They made the Sign of the Cross, and quietly left. Recently, a new collector said that the irises in the landscape painting she bought glowed and vibrated.
Where can we find your work?
Allegri Wine Shop & Art Gallery, 44 N. Main Ave., Gresham, OR 97030
Paintings in city offices in Sokcho, Korea, and Ebetus, Japan
Open to the Public: Murals: Red Barn Museum, Troutdale, OR; John H. Conway Law Offices, Sunnvvale, CA
Fine Art America www.fineartamerica.com
I would like to take the opportunity to thank Kathy for taking time out of her busy schedule to share with us a little about her passion for art. Please stop by her links and be thoroughly inspired!