Artwork by Valentina Minniti
My name is Valentina Minniti and I come from Italy.
For a living I teach English and have dedicated most of my academic studies to English and English literature, which were my “second” love at first sight!
Yes, my second chance to do what I felt was right for me, but that was long ago.
Long story short, since early infancy I had been dedicating to drawing. For the little girl I was at the time, copying what I could see around me was a silent yet invigorating activity, and as time went by I started to flicker with the idea of studying figurative art. My dream was to become a painter like Leonardo da Vinci.
However, for a 13-year-old girl family’s support is very important and I was talked out of such prospects since “drawing is just a hobby!”, “it is so silly”, “you’d better grow up!” and so on. So I dropped drawing and dedicated to completely different studies and interests.
At a point, that is when I was about to achieve important goals in a new field of studies, a Phd in English Literature, I felt an irresistable urge for a change of scenery: that didn’t feel right and all my efforts seemed vain and gone to waste.
Nevertheless, I made the decision to join a 3-year Painting course at an Academy of Fine Arts in my local city.
I was expecting to break the ice, so to speak, since it had been 13 years since I had last drawn something. I was rusty and was desperately looking for mentors and lecturers to guide me.
I found out, with all my discontent, that I was supposed to be already knowledgeable about how to build a canvas, plan a painting, sketching, tools and materials, transfer studies on a canvas, and so on. There was little teaching and this contributed much to my falling behind.
Adding to all that, I realized I did not know what I should paint, in other words I did and do still not know what to convey through my painting. And this is the challenge I am faced up with everyday.
I am constantly struggling with such issues, but I know now I want to be a figurative painter and drawer, and am currently learning about old techniques and materials, with a special insight on Leonardo and Jan Van Eyck’s oil painting techniques.
At present, I strongly believe to have found my mentors in the Old masters of the past (including Caravaggio, Rembrandt and Turner, just to name a few). However, I still have to find my feet when it comes to working on a project, since I am very self-conscious about which brushes, which colours, etcetera, to use, how and when.
I felt somewhat relieved when I came across the Old Masters Academy: I can get relevant and consistent information and answers to a number of issues related to painting.
Now I think the time has come to move forward and the Old Masters Academy course could add great value to my experience, or at least could provide me with the right stimuli I am craving for.
To the voters, I would just ask to vote for me if they can sympathise with my story. Art is sympathy with your own self, so I consider it the best way to get to know myself and communicate with people in the world.
I have attached a drawing (sanguine on yellow paper, 50×70 cm; technique: sfumato) I am currently working on and I am aware of some details that are to be completed and some proportions should be adjusted.
Thank you for the time you spent reading my story.