Meeting our Community's Needs - Neighbor to Neighbor

An artist is born

“The Art Studio is my home. I go whenever I can.”

Paul DiVolpi always wanted to be an artist, but he credits the PRC Art Program with making him successful. “My first project looked like a 5th grader did it,” he laughs.

“But I did it over and over and now I produce art that I’ve sold and pieces used in PRC materials and notecards.”

Paul came to the PRC Art Studio in 2015 after hearing about free classes. He is currently studying watercolors with professional watercolorist Ratindra Das. “Ratindra taught me new techniques and new ways of seeing things,” he continued. “He’s gotten me to practice and experiment with colors and designs I never would have done on my own.”

According to Paul, the Art Studio has improved his art, but it also helps him dream, create and come up with new ideas for his work. “When I’m painting my picture, I’m in the picture too. It’s very relaxing and stimulates my mind. And when I come to class, it’s always nice to be with other students. They’re very friendly and encouraging.

“The Art Studio is my home. I go whenever I can.”

Ironically, Paul has an Associate’s Degree in Graphic Arts from College of DuPage. “I graduated in 1990, but never used it,” he confesses. Now at the age of 62, he hopes he can supplement his income as an artist.

In March and April, he displayed his watercolors for the first time at a show at the Lisle Library. “I’m pretty productive,” he said, “and with Ratindra’s help, I’ve done at least 100 watercolors. If I don’t like them, I go back and fix them.

“(PRC Art Studio Director) Lesley Gena has been very encouraging too, and has guided me through the whole process: exhibiting, promotion and support. She has also taken individual paintings to PRC art shows and used my art on PRC flyers.”

Not surprisingly, Paul recommends the Art Program to everybody.  “Sign up and take the art classes and stick with it,” he insists. “Anybody can learn to paint. It’s just practice and transferring your vision to paper.

“The toughest thing is that sometimes watercolor is not controllable and the colors run.  When that happens, (the students) and I all seem to be hard on ourselves. 

“We have to learn that even though we see the little mistakes, everyone else sees art that is beautiful.”