Tina Madonia’s creations tap into the rich currents of nature without a trace of pomp or post-modern pretension. Her talent for infusing representational images with a subtle poetic flair has garnered decades of favor from both fans and galleries. Each piece encourages viewers to revel in an unhurried encounter with the world around them.
As a teenager, Madonia fell in love with oil painting. She grew up on Long Island, where her affinity for the beaches and bays forged an impulse to render these wonders on canvas with oil. Moreover, she still sees the painted landscape as a conduit connecting the viewer with an inner oasis of peace. Madonia explains, “I feel the landscape is a great escape for everyone. Our world has become so fast-paced we forget to stop, take a deep breath and enjoy the beauty around us. I try, when painting, to bring my audience into the landscape and enjoy the beauty of nature and hopefully the calming effect we all need.”
To express a more impressionistic facet of her creativity, Madonia makes monotypes. This involves painting an image on plexiglass and running it through a press. She says, “Monotypes are a wonderful change from the oils. My prints have a translucent look which some people confuse with watercolors. You are never sure what you will have until the printing is complete. The oil base inks blend as they go through the press, giving the piece a soft look. Details are difficult for this reason which is why color is my main focus.”
When Madonia was approached to teach a class 12 years ago, her response was far from enthusiastic. However, to her surprise, she thrived on guiding newcomers deeper into the world of art. All of her classes involve instruction in oils and acrylics. Smartly, she limits attendance to six or less students which allows each participant more focused attention.
She also enjoys diversity within the classroom. She shares, “I really enjoy watching my students grow and learn. Some do it as a hobby and some have become really good artists with their own styles. I love how people who have very different lives—like a chef, tattoo artist, doctor and a stay-at-home mom—[are] all coming together and blending so well with a common interest.”