Rosa Montante: Drama and Sensitivity

NOAPS Montante 2018 BOA

“The Gift”, Oil on Linen Panel, 24×18, Private Collection

The random beauty of nature is an elusive yet compelling subject matter, and no better is it represented than in “The Gift”, recently included in the 2018 NOAPS Best of America Exhibit, and soon to be seen at the American Women Artists Exhibit in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.  The flowers, delicately rendered, create a sense of weight and presence.  The colors in the painting are carefully controlled, shifting from lights and darks, warms and cools.  The sense of depth in the painting makes the viewer wish to reach in and touch the fragile petals.

NOAPS Montante Making The Cut  “Making The Cut”, Oil on Linen Panel, 16×12, Collection of the Artist.

Rosa Montante was surrounded at an early age by stunning works of art.  Born in a small town in Sicily, she frequented the churches, observing the art, the statues, architecture and other works of art that were a part of her early childhood.  These images had an indelible effect on her creativity; by the time she had reached the United States and entered high school, she had taught herself to draw.  The yearning to create art continued, and Montante enrolled in the art program at Nazareth College in Rochester, NY, where she studied sculpture, print making, weaving, watercolor, acrylics and oils.

NOAPS Montante Fresh tomatoes  “Fresh Tomatoes”, Oil on Linen Panel, 11×14, Private Collection.

Montante has used her creativity in other areas while earning a living; she has worked in photography, marketing, and management.  These demanding vocations left little time for art, but a local art class reinvigorated her need to more actively pursue painting, and for the past 10 years has focused on colored pencil (for her love of drawing) and oil painting.  She has always been inspired by the Old Masters, in particular Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Vermeer and Zorn.  Today’s artists that resonate are Jacob Collins, Jeremy Lipking, David Kassan, Michael Klein and Renato Muccillo.

A day in the studio begins with soft music, and observation of the painting in progress.  After an assessment, she begins her discriminating process of careful placement of each stroke.  She begins each painting with a monochromatic underpainting done with either pan pastels or paint.  Using a linen panel, her palette includes Titanium white, cadmium lemon, cadmium yellow pale, cadmium yellow deep, yellow ochre, transparent oxide red, alizarin crimson, ultramarine blue and phthalo blue.  Her brushes are sable or synthetic sable, allowing her to create soft strokework.

Inspiration comes from ordinary objects with extraordinary beauty: “facial expressions from a person who has lived a lifetime, the frailty and short life of flowers, light’s impact as it touches and bounces…” And words of wisdom….”Paint like it’s your last day, paint what you love and feel what you paint.”

NOAPS Montante Pats Roses  “Pat’s Roses”, Oil on Linen Panel, 18×24, Collection of the Fort Wayne Museum of Art.

Rosa Montante has had many achievements in her multiple careers, but to her the most outstanding is the purchase of “Pat’s Roses” by the Fort Wayne Museum of Art in 2017.  Montante is a Signature Member and member of the Board of Directors of the National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society, a member of the American Women Artists, and the Rochester Art Club.  She currently teaches oil painting at the Art Stop in Penfield, NY.  To view more work by Montante visit her website at

Written by Patricia Tribastone, NOAPS Blog Director



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