Frank DePietro

I look at nature for inspiration and consider what strikes me as compositionally impactful. The lotus plant easily lends itself to what I am trying to accomplish visually. It provides a seemingly endless possibility of variation. The lines, forms and shapes allow for intriguing use of positive and negative space. The reflection of light passing through and bouncing off of leaves, flowers and seed pods creates opportunity for tonal and color variation. These elements allow me to explore a dynamic of flatness and illusion within the surface of the painting. All of this is encompassed by the portrayal of the plant itself, dictating a mood or sensibility of the work based on its state of existence.

I have always been interested in the visual history of painting. The evolution of thought, and how painters have utilized and built upon periods and movements that predicated them. I try to incorporate this into my work, from traditional representational techniques to concepts of Modernism, Abstract Expressionism and Color field painting.

Conceptually, my work is derived in the vain of traditional landscape painting. It is an attempt to capture time, through the changes in light and color displayed in the natural world.

Opposed to taking in the vastness of my surroundings, I treat nature in more of a sense of still life. The focus is on the unique characteristics of individual plant forms that collectively reveal these more vast changes. My initial reaction to any subject matter is visual. I process the elements of the landscape in front of me, then frame it through the viewfinder of a camera. I later try to find images that will relate to the formal elements of painting and further edit photographs to create compelling compositions. This is first stage of my work.

It is not my intention to utilize the lotus for devotional reasons, though my notions may align with aspects of its inherent symbolism. My intention is a simple portrayal of existence through the cyclical aspect of its life. The body of work is a quiet contemplation on the observations of the plants perennial nature in correlation to emotional and intellectual bonds we cast upon it. Revelations of change and a full circle of life are encompassed within its season of being. The plant first displays a vigorous growth of foliage, later the beauty of the bloom, followed by signs of decay and then a regeneration. My appreciation and respect for each visible transition in the life cycle has evolved and grown throughout the series, each element serving a distinct role essential to the lotus’ ultimate purpose.

Photo of Frank DePietro

Lotus (Small)

Lotus (Medium)

Lotus (Large)

Installation View


Frank DePietro was born and raised in Scranton PA. He received a Bachelor of Art from Bloomsburg University in 1997, majoring in both Painting and Ceramics with a minor in Art History. In 2000 he earned a degree in Art Education from Moore College of Art and Design while continuing his studies in painting. Frank lived in Philadelphia for twelve years painting and teaching at several museums, art centers and schools in the region. In 2010 he and his family moved to Chester County PA, where he currently resides. Frank currently teaches painting classes and workshops at the Delaware Art Museum and Longwood Gardens. He exhibits his paintings both locally and nationally. Frank has been the recipient of several awards and publications, his work is held in many private and public collections including the permanent collection of the Pennsylvania Convention Center.