Mario Adornetto – Painting to his Heart’s Content

Breathing new life into his innate talent for creativity, Mario Adornetto conjures raw emotion from his canvases.

Adornetto has been drawing his entire life and will hopefully continue to do so for years to come. As a child, he liked to copy the race cars printed on his sheets and enjoyed receiving praise from his art professors. However, it took him a while to understand that he could turn his gift into a profession. As luck would have it, when he was just 17 years old, his brother was working in a service station and asked him if he wanted to paint the lettering on a trailer. This experience earned him a job with a sign company. Moving from one company to another every six months, he worked as a letterer for almost a decade, mastering both brush and drawing techniques. The compliments he received during that period made him aware of his great talent.

Following the recession in the early 1990s, he left his job as a letterer to go back to school in 1995. This time around, he was guided not by chance, but by confidence in his own potential. He enrolled in an architectural design course, intent on leaving his mark. “Though many companies were making house plans at the time, I wanted to produce something especially harmonious.” Determined, persevering, and creative, he designed appealing homes that were featured in a number of magazines. Over the years, Adornetto grew to understand his clients’ expectations and could quickly design both the interior and the exterior of a house. His creations are a guarantee of quality.

Mario Adornetto at work. Some of his paintings are decorated with gold leaf.
Design Louis George
If as a child Mario Adornetto liked to draw cars, today he prefers to collect them. Behind, two of his works inspired by horses.

In November 2016, while still running his design firm, he had no idea that a third career, one he had prepared for his entire life, lay ahead of him. As he prepared to reorganize a storage area under his garage, he came across the easels he had used when working as a letterer. “I told my wife Jessica that I wanted to keep them and take up painting some day when I retired.” These words quickly became a challenge when Jessica and his office employees gave him a blank canvas measuring 4 feet x 6 feet. All he had to do was start painting. “I had never painted a canvas,” confides Adornetto. Nonetheless, he was determined and ready to win over the sceptics. His cat Félix, whom everyone knows, was his first subject. He bought knives, spatulas, and cans of acrylic paint, along with a few more practice canvases. Although he did share his first attempt, a lion, on social media, he was not satisfied. However, the painting had already generated interest. He spent months working to perfect his technique, demonstrating the same energy and desire he had shown when learning lettering and architectural design. He gave himself two years to build up his confidence and ensure that his work would convey the emotions he felt. His first art opening, which featured 34 canvases, was a success, as was the following, held two years later. With his third career taking off, Adornetto is gradually moving away from designing houses, working on just a few special projects.

“With art, it is just me and the canvas. I can completely let myself go,” explains Adornetto. “Unlike my approach to technical drawings, when I paint I do not have a clear vision of the finished work in mind.” Alone in his world, he produces works at his own pace, combining the abstract with the figurative. “An animal’s expression helps me create an emotion, surrounded by explosions of colour.” Playing with the idea of different volumes, these paintings also perfectly complement contemporary architecture, drawing both the eye and light.

You will not find Adornetto’s work in art galleries. Instead, he relies on social media and his circle of friends and acquaintances. This method is very effective as he has sold over 200 canvases so far, plus a number of limited-edition signed digital prints that he produces himself in his studio. Although he elicits an almost immediate response from admirers and has garnered numerous accolades, the most touching compliment he received came from his own father, who told him that the painting he had given him was now an integral part of his life. Pure emotion exemplified.

The lion, in all its majesty, remains a source of inspiration to the artist.

Cover image: Mario Adornetto and the works proposed for our front cover. Which one do you prefer?

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