Andy Volpe: About the Artwork

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My path in Art:

I like the tell people I have been drawing since I was old enough to pick up a crayon and nibble on it.  I have been drawing as far back as I can remember. I also remember spending time doodling in my notebooks and on my brown paper textbook covers in school, perhaps much to the dismay of my teachers. (But, thankfully I was always good at school earning good grades)

I started taking private instruction around 1990-91 with Christine O'Brien in Southbridge (L'atelier de Christine). Along with my sister, Elaine, we started the typical structure on learning art, starting with drawing (charcoal, pencil), then working on painting in oils, acrylics and watercolors. Painting was never the big deal for me.  I can do it, but I really feel at home drawing.

In High School, I was able to take some classes in Mechanical and Architectural Drafting.  I loved it.  I really think that precision and detailed hand stayed in me as I moved into more of the Fine Arts stuff in College.

After graduating High School, I attended Westfield State College. (1996-2000) I graduated with a Bachelor's of Art in Fine Arts, concentration in Drawing.  I like to say my "unofficial" minors were in Printmaking and Art History.

Next to Drawing, Printmaking is my favored medium.  Within the first week of the first class, I was totally hooked.  I really enjoy the ability to make my own copies of my works (as I don’t like to sell original works), but also the whole challenge of making an edition of 'identical' prints really fascinates me. Part of the blame can be placed on the Old Masters, such as Albrecht Durer, Albrecht Altdorfer, Uls Graf, Hieronymus Bosch, Lucas Cranac, and Rembrandt.

Learning Art History was another favored subject, and I was excited to be able to learn and try the very techniques of the Masters I had been learning about.

As you can see, Durer also inspired me to use my "AV" monogram, based on his.  I started using this monogram regularly in 2000, and it has now become my "signature".

Printing work in College consisted of Wood block, Wood Engraving, Etching, Drypoint, Aquatint, Collograph, Monoprint, and Lithography. (Professors Jaimie Wainwright, Pat Conant, and Gerald Wise)

But it was Intaglio that I really enjoyed and wanted to do more work in.

After College, I was a Teacher's Assistant at Worcester Art Museum. I also had the pleasure of taking Printmaking classes with the late Tom Lewis, where I learned some Non-Toxic techniques for Intaglio; and also took classes later with Randi LeSage, and more recently, with Eugene Charov.

In 2004-05, I really started to dig into the research and experimentation of the Old Master techniques, using references like Cennini's "il Libro Dell'Arte" (aka "The Craftsman's Handbook") from 1437, and Gorgio Vasari in 1570. 

I gave a lecture with a good friend, Julie Collier of Wingmasters in 2006, where I explained some of these techniques I had just started to research, while she gave a presentation with her Raptors on the sport Falconry.  It was to be a catalyst moment, during a conversation with Julie and dear friend, author Resa Nelson, about Art, Me, and where I was going.  Eventually it would develop and lead to the "debut" of this presentation (Medieval-Renaissance Artist), first in March with another "Medieval Art and Falconry" lecture, with friend Larry Keating; and then my first school program in Shrewsbury that May.

It was August of 2009 that these nearly 10 years of research and art culminated with another "Medieval Art and Falconry" presentation with Julie, in a "coming full circle" experience.

I continue my study of Old Masters techniques in drawing and printmaking, and have displayed and demonstrated at Renaissance Faires and the Museum of Printing in North Andover, as well as the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA.


Thanks for reading.

 

C: 2008 – 2013 A. Volpe - 413