A look at the work of Palm Springs artist, Paul Colacicco:

Palm Springs Style: How would you describe your art?
Paul Colacicco: I would describe my art as “vintage abstract” using only basic tools (brushes, palette knives and rags). Like the painters of the ’70s. I don’t want the viewer the be distracted by techniques created with crazy mediums and tools. I am a purist in that sense.

What mediums do you work in?
I work primarily in oils with the occasional use of acrylics as a ground color.

What inspires you?
Inspiration is everywhere and can happen at the oddest moments. It could be a visual or a thought or a feeling. The Coachella Valley deserts and especially in Joshua Tree always inspires. The air is like no other. Bisbee, Arizona inspires because of the stunning colors of this mining town. The reds, purples and greens of the mineral mountains are awesome.

How does living and working in the desert influence your art?
The desert has influenced me more than when I was living at the beach. The light, smells, colors and sky in the early morning and at dusk. I am drawn to nature more than anything.

Sunrise at Joshua Tree, 2017, oil on canvas board, 18×24″

What is your process like when you are creating? Do you have a daily routine?
A painting may take a few days to a year. For example, Sunrise at Joshua Tree took me a month to get the pink, green and the light, right. My best work happens when I just let go of my black and white brain and trust myself. I call it “crazy land.” I can only add that my daily routine for creating happens when the studio is quiet and the light is right.

What are you working on right now?
I am working on a piece that was inspired by the cool to warm air movement, during early morning walks. Have you ever taken an early morning walk, specifically in October, when it’s cool and then warm air brushes over you? The painting will be with cool blues merging with warm yellows. Beyond that, the process is on.

Anything else you would like to share about yourself/your work?
I grew up in a family of artists, designers and architects. Those influences taught me that being a conformist was uninspiring and boring. My aunt taught me to really pay attention to the “light source.” I live by that every day. Another influence was the late great interior designer Michael Taylor. His documented statement, “when in doubt take out,” helps me every time I feel the need to add more to a painting. I still struggle with that occasionally.

FOS Palm Springs in The Shops at Thirteen Forty Five

Paul’s work is available at FOS Palm Springs in The Shops at Thirteen Forty Five (1345 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs). You can also see his piece Jiuxiang Caverns 2 right now at the Palm Springs Art Museum as part of the 2017 Artists Council Exhibition (through December 10, 2017).
All artwork © Paul Colacicco


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