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PORTRAIT MISSION STATEMENT

My main goal is to create a piece of art that beautifully reflects your child. I strive to capture your child’s personality and emotion at that moment. Whether my medium is charcoal or pastel, I want my artwork to have energy and movement, to be alive. I do not want to simply duplicate a photograph. Instead, I aim to create a piece of art that is spirited, full of life, and wonderfully reflective of your individual child. 

Excitement comes from capturing an honest moment, feeling, or expression. My inspiration is in the play of light on the face, the celebration of color, the twinkle in a child’s eye, the smirk on her face, perhaps the look of impish curiosity, the crinkle of the brow on his upset face, or the serious expression of a pensive child.
I love painting the full range of emotion, so not every portrait I paint is of a smiling child, but of course it can be! I also love recreating that blissful expression of pure joy that often washes over the face of a child! 

I pride myself on not painting stiff posed portraits. On the contrary, I want my portraits to be alive and expressive. Life is about emotion, expression and movement. My portraits celebrate this!

ABOUT THE ARTIST

42nd Annual Pastel Society of America Exhibition, Enduring Brilliance

ADRIAN GIULIANI was an artist from the time she was a tiny toddler, growing up in Queens, NY. She drew constantly, and it quickly became obvious that art was an essential part of who she was.  After a family trip to the Museum of Modern Art, 3 year old Adrian quietly came through the door, picked up some chalk, and, inspired by the modern masters, started sketching little nude figures! When she was about six or seven years old, she began creating her own children's books, writing and illustrating them.   

​Adrian's family encouraged that passion. When she was a pre-teen, her Dad brought home a stack of crude blue cardstock, and Adrian spent countless hours filling the paper with drawings: ink doodles of her Dad, as he relaxed on the sofa or oil pastel captures of her neighbor's rooftop, while peering out of her bedroom window.

At 17, Adrian was introduced to soft pastels by Flora Giffuni, the founder of the Pastel Society of America. She had the great fortune of studying with Flora that year. Adrian, inspired, became intrigued with this new medium.

  

In 1983, Adrian began her studies at the Rhode Island School of Design. Experimenting with different media, she was most drawn to pastel, oil and charcoal.  Adrian delved into pastels in her Junior year, when she took a class with Richard Merkin, a fabulous instructor.  Pastel became "her medium." She could not get enough of it: with its immediacy, flexibility and rich, vibrant colors. It was versatile and tactile, too. She was hooked!   

One of her favorite parts of art school was all the work she did from life: figure drawing in charcoal, oil and pastel, and the many pastel still lifes she did from her kitchen table. All of the work from life gave Adrian a strong foundation upon which to build. Adrian believes that drawing is the basis of any great painting; it is the foundation.   

During her Senior year at RISD, with her Polaroid camera in hand, Adrian ventured out, snapping some shots of children playing in Providence. She created portraits of them, thus discovering her immense love for children's pastel portraits! The expressiveness of children made them perfect subjects for her portraits.

Adrian graduated from RISD with a BFA in Illustration in 1987. Today she is thrilled to be focusing on fine art, creating both portraits and still lifes and working almost exclusively in soft pastel.  Her next adventure will be plein air pastel painting!  Adrian's pastel commissions always take her on a journey. She is led by the piece and is infinitely excited to see where it will bring her. 

While creating her still lifes, Adrian always works from life. For Adrian, working from life is essential, as it strengthens her skills and forces her to play and manipulate the truth in nature, interpreting it with her own artistic voice. She believes there is beauty in imperfection. There is beauty in everyday life.  While working from life, Adrian is responding to what she sees, but she is always making intuitive decisions, changing colors, and playing with reality! Adrian wants to explore what can be done with this magnificent medium of pastel, by taking the “everyday,” that is close to her heart, and pushing her compositions, her technique, her unique viewpoint, observing, creating and playing. It is an exciting exploration for her. 

With both her portraits and still lifes, she stays in her own experience throughout the process. Of course it is so gratifying that her work has been recognized by the Pastel Society of America, the International Association of Pastel Societies, Gail Sibley's prestigious blog, HowtoPastel and with numerous awards from the Pastel Society of New Jersey and the Alabama Pastel Society. Adrian is humbled and honored and cannot wait to continue on her artistic journey, seeing where it will take her.

 

Adrian is a Signature member of the Pastel Society of America, the Pastel Society of New Jersey and the Alabama Pastel Society. Her work has been noted for its expressiveness, brilliant, rich colors and loose, fluid strokes, energy and movement. Adrian's work has been juried into many national and international exhibitions and has won numerous awards.

Adrian lives in New Jersey with her husband, two teenage boys, one of whom is away at college, and their Labrador Retriever mix rescue dog.

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