Many view making art as a meditative practice that calms the nerves, provides clarity, and is fulfilling. For painter Sergio Roffo, that feeling of serene sanity is often achieved with brush in hand and beauty in mind.
1991 proved to be a pivotal year for artist Sergio Roffo, who uprooted himself from the heart of Boston, Massachusetts, and moved to a nautical village about 22 miles south. Immediately captivated by the marshes, brackish rivers, and coastal views, Roffo “went from painting cityscapes to coastal landscapes literally overnight,” he says. Flash forward to present day, and today we find Roffo established as one of the nation’s preeminent painters of coastal views and represented by several major galleries across the Eastern Seaboard.
For Roffo, a painting’s subject often “depends on which gallery I’m painting for at a particular time,” he says. “A gallery in Charleston, South Carolina, may be interested in a painting with shrimp boats as its subject, or perhaps a gallery on Nantucket Island may seek a sunset dune scene.” Focusing on each painting individually, Roffo also paints scenes that capture his attention during moments when nature reveals her profound beauty.
Recalling the painting of “Towards Big Sur Carmel, CA,” Roffo writes, “I was driving on US1 towards Big Sur and I saw this scene looking towards my right. I had to stop and paint this sublime beauty of a view. The contrast of light and shadow on the rocky cliffs and atmospheric perspective posed a great challenge for me. I immediately set up my easel and finished a small study that I later enlarged in my studio. I tried to incorporate as much detail as possible on location.”
Among Roffo’s chief artistic goals are to “convey to the viewer the illusion of reality from my use of light and color.” He suggests, “A good example of this is within the painting ‘Sunrise on the Marsh.’ I was able to capture that great golden light reflecting on the marsh.” In addition, painting affords Roffo an opportunity to achieve a sense of sanity in his life. “I have no idea what I would do if I couldn’t paint,” the artist says. “We artists aren’t happy when we aren’t painting. Ultimately, I hope to communicate to my audiences a feeling of calmness and serenity when they view my work. I hope they can relate to a sense of time and place in their lives. My message is trying to convey to the viewer the spirituality and sacredness of my work and to indicate the harmony of nature through color and light.”
Viewing works such as Roffo’s magnetic “Wauwinet Sunset” the inner luminance and masterful use of light warm the soul in ways that recall early American painters from the Hudson River School. Among Roffo’s major influences are Albert Bierstadt, Frederic Church, and Fitz Henry Lane. Recalling his artistic journey, Roffo writes that it’s been “very fulfilling and self-satisfying. It takes an extreme amount of discipline and hard work to become a successful artist. Making pictures is a wonderful thing but the business of art is, of course, entirely different. Did I mention trying to balance your domestic life and spending quality time with your family? It’s very challenging indeed, but once you achieve that balance, there’s nothing in the world you’d rather be doing. I intend to be doing more of the same as long as I live and stay healthy: painting with passion and maintaining that life balance. Stay healthy, eat well, drink well, and be happy.”
Roffo is also an Elected Living Master (ARCLM) by the Art Renewal Center.
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