Choleena DiTullio is a 1994 honours graduate of the Mount Allison University Fine Arts Programme. Making her way through selected branches of the art world, she gained 16 years of experience working in various capacities in galleries as well as working as a graphic designer and art director in the advertising/marketing world before branching out to become a full-time artist in 2009.
Choleena finds extraordinary inspiration for all aspects of her life in the ordinary things around her. And when it comes to art, she has an insatiable need to paint the fish that she sees lurking in those every-day things: the fanned back of an Adirondack chair is an unmistakable fish tail; a Spam can is obviously a fish body; and a bike wheel is a fish eye.
From a very early age, her mind has been drawn to odd and abstract things. She couldn’t fight it so she decided to embrace it. Her art, her work, her interests and her life are all the better for it.
Her artwork presents her whimsical, sometimes-dark view of life — out of, beside, and beneath the water. She employs a variety of techniques and media to create sculptural paintings. With a little imagination, office supplies morph into insects, clay converts to fossil, and buttons from a calculator change into a “paint-by-number” fish. You never know what creature will reel you in next.
Teach a woman how to fish and it will entertain her for a lifetime
In her early days, Choleena’s father would take her fishing. On their first expedition, she remembers looking over a bridge, and down at a dark blue river. Within the water was the darker-still silhouette of a fish. A shape difficult to make out with so little contrast but on pulling the fish out of the water she was struck by the thick metallic-gold ring around its eye and shimmering scales of yellow, orange and red. She, too, was hooked.
Form AND function
One doesn’t have to follow or preclude the other. A firm believer that art should be everywhere (or everywear), Choleena has developed one of her signature fish into a printable design for clothing. The “FishTank Top” is her latest creation. Adding function to her art helps her realize her belief that art should be pervasive; in every part of every day.
Her largest piece, Adirondack Fish (above), is a 12-foot-long acrylic on stretched canvas. It completely integrates every piece of an old Adirondack chair — even the fish’s teeth are nails.
Respect for the environment can be seen throughout her art and challenges the viewer to work, every day and in every way, toward Green Living.
In case you’re wondering, Choleena is pronounced “koh-lee-nah”. The origin of her unique name: Acetylcholine. Her father was a biochemist.
“Modern Mosaics” – RECYCLED PAPER!
Traditionally a watercolourist and acrylic painter, over the last few years Choleena’s attention has been captured by the beauty and vibrancy of tile mosaic. She has developed a process, using different papers —many 100% recycled and coloured with vegetable dyes— to create the appearance of classic tile mosaic. Unlike traditional tile mosaic, this form is light and durable, making it easy to hang and transport. You won’t believe it is paper. In her art, her love of the natural world is obvious but we see a hint of her other interests, as well. Steampunk themes are beginning to take root with zeppelins, gears and British telephone booths.
For information about adding her art to your collection, drop her a line anytime.
|Fine Arts Education
(*solo shows marked by asterisk)