Artists Who Inspire: Meet Rita DiCaprio

It’s a real pleasure for me to introduce you to Rita DiCaprio of New York North Fine Art.  Rita was one of the very first artists that I met online when I began painting four years ago.  She also paints with oil pastels and if it wasn’t for her generosity of sharing techniques and information about the medium, I can honestly say I probably wouldn’t have continued down this journey of becoming an oil pastelist.

Rita is a fabulously talented artist who works oil pastels as I’ve never seen before .  .  . her paintings are gorgeous.  Please enjoy the interview below that I recently conducted with Rita.

How long have you been an artist? I have been a professional artist for the past twenty-five years. By professional, I mean that I started selling my work at that time, and that was when I received my first award for my paintings. But to answer the question how long have I been an artist, I think that I have felt like an artist for as long as I can remember. I remember a fascination with color, paint, and creating art from my earliest childhood memories.

What training have you received? I have taken workshops with a variety of artists, and studied individually with a few mentors over the years, all of which have been very helpful in my development as an artist. I have been fortunate to have met some really wonderful and talented people who have been very generous in sharing their passion and skill.

What medium do you specialize in? I have basically concentrated on two mediums during my life: watercolor earlier in my career, and then later in my career oil pastels, which is definitely my medium of choice. I now work almost exclusively in oil pastels.
How would you describe your style? I generally work in a loose, impressionistic style. My work has also been described as tonalist, as often there is a moody, misty quality, with soft edges and neutral hues in the painting.

Are there artists who have influenced the direction of your work, if so who and why? There are many artists that have influenced my work over the years, some famous, and some little known. As a group, The Hudson River Artists have had a huge influence on my work. I am drawn to the way they used light, and their love affair with the Upstate New York Landscape which is where I have spent the last 30 years. Some of my favorite artists are Thomas Cole, Albert Bierstadt, and John William Casilear.

What subjects appeal to you? Generally I am drawn to the landscape. Landscapes in all seasons. One of my favorites to paint is the winter landscape, as I love trying to create a sense of luminosity in the snow. I also enjoy painting still life, especially the still life of everyday objects.

How do you push your creative envelope and keep things fresh? I think for me, keeping things fresh means keeping your eyes open to what you see and not continuing to paint in the same way, even when it is successful. I think there can be a temptation to continue to do the same thing over and over again when it works, but I think that’s when paintings start to look rote. I try to stay tuned in to what excites me, and try to always take risks in a painting. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but it always keeps it exciting.

Do you see a finished painting in your minds-eye before you start? In other word do you visualize before you start or just let things flow on its natural course as you paint? I rarely see a finished painting in my mind’s eye, and even when I do, it’s not usually what it winds up being in the end anyway! I try to listen to where the painting wants to take me . . . often changing directions completely.

Where do you go for inspiration? I am blessed to live in what I consider to be one of the most beautiful areas of the country, Upstate New York which is home to the Adirondack Mountains. For inspiration, I am a short drive to the mountains which still, after living here all these years, literally take my breath away. I think if I live to be 100 and I am still painting, I will still have more to share about what the mountains are saying to me.

Do you paint plein aire, in a studio or both? I am mostly a studio painter, although I do paint plein aire and really enjoy it. There is something in the experience of being outside with nature when you create that is truly wonderful.

What does your art mean to you? Wow, that is a tough question! I don’t know if I can really put that into words. I feel like my painting is such an intrinsic part of myself that it is hard to separate me from my art. It is my passion, it is what makes me feel alive, it feels like what I was meant to do in this life.

What do you want your art to say to the viewer? I hope that my art conveys a sense of what I feel when I see the subject that I am painting, and the joy that I feel when I paint. I don’t really have any more sophisticated theme that I am trying to convey . . . Just the beauty I see, and the joy I feel.

What is the name of your blog and website? The name of my blog is that I share with another artist, Eden Compton. My website is an online gallery that features both the work of myself and Eden Compton as well. The online gallery link is and offers work directly available for purchase.

Is there another place else that we can go to see your work in person? I have a permanent collection of my landscapes at The Batchellor Mansion in Saratoga Springs, NY.

About Mary

Oil Pastelist
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57 Responses to Artists Who Inspire: Meet Rita DiCaprio

  1. Resa says:

    Okay…. I went there…. WOW!!!!

    • Mary says:

      There you go!! Glad you enjoyed the side-trip Resa. Have a good evening.

      • Resa says:

        You have a good evening, too! Thank you for everything you do ( esp. your art!)

        • Mary says:

          Thanks so much Resa – my art has been slow going this week, a lot of prep time, hope to post tomorrow or friday. My husband effectively retired yesterday, so things could change on time or at least our schedules are going to get wide-open. So thank you so much for your support and encouragement, and beautiful comments!

          • Resa says:

            How exciting! Time is such a precious commodity, and now it seems there will be more in your life. Enjoy it!
            I know you will always paint. Your talent is such a forward thrust.
            I’m sure your sweetie is as inspired by your art as I am. He must be in the sweetest spin.
            Lucky you. Lucky him.
            BTW.. wish I was young again. I’d have you pant beautiful flowers all over my body, and I’d post them all over the world!
            (Okay, I’d probably wear an itsy bitsy bikini, but you’d paint over that, too!)

    • Tammy says:

      What stunning works! Thank you Mary, both for your own beautiful works and for showcasing Rita’s amazing paintings as well. I am in awe of you both.

      • Mary says:

        Hi Tammy, so nice to meet you! Thank you so much for your beautiful comments – really appreciate the compliment. I went out to see your paintings, another oil pastel artist – yeah!! Love how well you manage the sticks in your landscapes ~ beautiful scenes.

        • Tammy says:

          Thank you, Mary – that means so much coming from you! My dream is to someday reach a skill level sufficient to attain Signature Status with the Oil Pastel Society (if I live that long! lol).

  2. Resa says:

    What a fab post! I’m off to see Rita’s work when I leave here, and if it is half as good as yours I will be 1 happy camper! Thank you Mary!

  3. Thank you, Mary. I’m a huge fan of Rita’s work because of your introduction!

  4. Thank you to everyone who has commented on my work! I am overwhelmed by your generous compliments. I am so glad that you are visiting the blog and are enjoying the work. It means a lot to me. Thanks again Mary, for providing me with this opportunity!~Rita

  5. M-R says:

    A most civil thing to do, clever Mary ! – and I can see the similarity of the medium in the works of you both. 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Thank you M.R. Rita is a wonderful friend, who has given me so much over the years that it was a real pleasure introducing her on the blog. I’m so glad that you checked out her work, beautiful, right?!

  6. Nice interview….I’m going to visit her wonderful blog…:-) Thanks for introducing her Mary… 🙂

  7. Great interview, Mary! I read it and now I am going to visit her site. Thank you! and thank you for your visits to my blog!

  8. elisa ruland says:

    I just returned from a visit to Rita’s site. Her work is exquisite. I enjoyed your interview!

  9. restlessjo says:

    I am familiar with Rita’s lovely work, Mary, but you’ve reminded me that I owe her a visit 🙂

  10. Jackie says:

    Great interview! I enjoyed reading it very much. 🙂

  11. Thanks for the introduction, Mary. Interview with Rita and her work are very inspiring.

  12. Francesca says:

    Great interview, Mary! I can believe you started paiting only 4 years ago. It looks to me like you were born with a brush in your hand! Have a great day!

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much for your beautiful comment and compliment – means a lot. I have a long ways to go, but I’m enjoying the ride. Thank you my friend!

  13. I enjoyed your interview with Rita. Her paintings are really gorgeous. Thanks for introducing me to her blog, Mary. 🙂

  14. Thank you Mary, for doing such a great job on the interview and the wonderful introduction! I look forward to meeting some of your fellow bloggers. Thanks also to those who are commenting on this blog about my work. I am glad you are enjoying the work and the comments are very much appreciated! ~Rita

    • Mary says:

      Hi Rita, you are welcome – it was great to introduce everyone to your world of art! Something special about the way you capture landscape scenes ~

  15. Mary,thanks for the great interview with Rita. I follow Rita’s blog and LOVE< LOVE< LOVE her work. 😀

  16. violetski says:

    Thank you for sharing dear Mary! So many beautiful paintings❤️

  17. art ana pj says:

    “I try to listen to where the painting wants to take me . . . often changing directions completely.” love this part! I enjoyed the whole interview as same as Rita’s paintings. Thanks, Mary, for such great interview!

    • Mary says:

      Amazing right Ana? I’m so glad you enjoyed the interview, she has an easy way of how she approaches her work and how her paintings evolve.

  18. poppytump says:

    Really nice interview Mary . I’ve popped over to see Rita’s art … and got quite lost in her beautiful colours and scenes 🙂

  19. Gallivanta says:

    Rita’s work is beautiful. No wonder she inspires you. And I agree with Rita that upstate New York is utterly lovely.

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Gallivanta – from the first time I saw her work. I was truly captivating with a true fascination of how she brought her pieces to life. So glad you enjoyed her paintings.

  20. Lovely artist, I just popped over and checked her art and is most beautiful. Love her loose style and her instinct for colors. Very smoothing, graceful and dreamy landscapes, I love her trees. Thank you for graciously sharing with us this beautiful, talented artist.

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Eva – I’m so glad you enjoyed her paintings. She manages those oil pastels like so few can – your description of her work is perfect. Rita is not only a good friend, but an amazingly talented artist.

  21. Have been over to Rita’s blog….beautiful paintings! Thanks for the introduction to a fellow artist, Mary!

  22. Amy says:

    Thank you so much for introducing Rita, Mary. A great pleasure to know another artist. I made a stop, but will go back and admire her painting again. 🙂

  23. Great interview! I look forward to exploring Rita’s blog. Thanks, Mary!

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