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Aida Birritteri

Watermedia Works on Paper

After moving to Hunterdon County, NJ, in 1997 and raising a family, I began to paint watercolor landscapes en plein air in Bucks County, PA,  and Hunterdon County, NJ in the year 2012. Plein air watercolor was the foundation for my works on paper, but today I draw and paint mostly indoors from my studio space.

From 1982 to 1985, I attended Mason Gross School of Art at Rutgers University and  studied drawing with Lloyd McNeil and Francois Morelli, and oil painting with Andy Sichel and Joan Semmel. In 1988, I transferred to New Jersey City University and finished my undergraduate studies, receiving a BFA in 1990.

In 2019/2020,  I developed my watermedia works on paper even further, experimenting with INK and gouache, engaging with the media as it moves across the paper with an economy of line and shape and strong composition. Attuned to nature, I look for natural materials to draw with. I draw with Sumi-e INK using bamboo sticks and cornstalk stems, and make grey washes with Sumi-e brushes. These drawing and painting tools create a variety of line widths and shapes in my work. Sometimes, I combine watercolor, INK and Gouache together in one piece, such as in my work , “NYC Blues,” of Washington Square Park.
“NYC Blues,” was exhibited at the (AAA) Allied Artist of America NY, NY 2020 Annual Juried Show and the 2020 (CLWAC) Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club NY, NY 1st Annual Associates/Non-members Juried Show. “NYC Blues,” received 2nd place for watermedia at the CLWAC show. My INK drawing, “Schuylkill Boathouse,” received the Marion Art Repro Award at the Philadelphia Tri-State Artist Equity, 71st Annual Fall Show in 2020.

My drawings and paintings cannot be classified as Sumi-e Art. I work from photo sources and Zen Sumi-e art requires a tremendous amount of repetition that enables Sumi-e painters to create from nothing. It is a form I admire very much and strive to accomplish.

Art is a celebration of life. When my work is going well, I experience a great sense of peace.