“I create. Creates me.
I paint so that I may
know who I am.”
Filomena Pisano began painting intensively in July 2016. It has become a faithful and rewarding endeavour as her work has grown exponentially.
Filomena has a bright and large personality; she loves to laugh! Like many Italians, she expresses herself easily and has a boisterous, loving and hugely affectionate approach to the world. She is a nurturer, a mother and a passionate woman. Her life is a prosperous and large achievement of extended family, children, a husband that’s a great support to her work and a best friend. She is rich in heart and soul and she knows that the mind follows.
Filomena has 4 children that she claims have taught her to never give up on anything you believe in and she is a “Nonna” of two beautiful grandchildren. Filomena has a giving and playful approach to living that shows itself as she claims, “When the last two of our children moved out to attend university it was unsettling, “I quickly adapted to my new-found freedom and picked up my paint brushes! We are living like teenagers again!”
On September 16, 2016, just before turning 56, upon reading Patton Oswald’s experience with grief, Filomena decided to embark on a challenge that changed her life. She shut down many personal and professional activities and devotedly went into 102 days of art-making. The experience evoked a depth and scope of inner exploration that many would find challenging and difficult to commit to and yet wish to partake in.
As a young girl in grade school I drew one-eye consistently. I was fascinated with the one eye, maybe from as early as 7 or so. One of my teacher’s in class questioned me as to why I was drawing only one eye. I recall her tone; it made me feel that this approach was somehow wrong. Later, while drawing a well-meaning relative, questioned me on why I was drawing outside of the lines, somewhere between these two incidents, discouraged, I put the pencil down and left art behind. Later in life, in my forties, I picked up a pencil on a catholic retreat. One of the Nuns who live there decided to hang over my shoulder and question my drawing of the ‘one eye’, she told me it was evil to portray a one-eyed woman. I put the pencil down, once again.
In August of 2016, inspired by Patton Oswald’s story, “102 Days of Grief”, in which he wrote, “If you spend 102 days completely focused on ONE thing you can achieve miracles”, I realized that I had allowed others to take away my passion of drawing. I came to understand that the one-eyed experiences blocked me subconsciously from exploring what I’ve always wanted to do, which is to paint. I had buried a passion, internalized grief and for a long time I was angry and hurt. Today I am no longer angry but I do feel, at times, great loss. This is why the challenge of a commitment to returning to art for 102 days has been so healing and I see clearly how I was so ready to embark on that process. In all things, we must never let anyone steal our thunder!
Since July 2016, I have had numerous pieces sold. I have shown my work in Toronto, and in Niagara-on-the-Lake. I have many people to thank for supporting me throughout this fascinating process of going inside, loving myself and finding my way back to art.