Aida Birritteri was born in Cuba, immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 4, and began pursuing art shortly thereafter. Although she painted mainly in oil color while working towards her BFA at Rutgers University’s Mason Gross and to New Jersey City University, Birritteri has recently shifted to watercolor. She derives inspiration from both natural scenery and the human form; accordingly, her pieces are predominantly en plein air renditions of human figures.
Aida Birritteri Fine Art Watercolors
Aida Birritteri CV/Bio:
I was born in Santa Clara, Cuba in 1964. I immigrated to the United States of America at the age of 4.
I am happy and grateful to say that my life has taken shape in the United States and fortunate to have come this far in my journey as an artist.
I drew and doodled since the age of 5. As a child I found myself drawing as a way of expressing ideas and thoughts that were too large to put into words and felt bigger than life. It wasn’t until my teenage years that I began to work more loosely with color and paint. As a young woman artist, and throughout my undergraduate studies, I looked at the works of European Modernists and drew and painted in oils from the human figure. I also looked at American artists exhibiting in the NY metropolitan area of the past and present who reflect the culture, time and place in which they live and work. Artists of the past are a point of reference. I find my own voice now in the things I see and experience in the world as I express myself with watercolor.
When my work is going well, I feel an inner sense of peace and tranquility and a great sense of accomplishment. Painting to me is a kind of freedom of expression and a healthy celebration of life. What started with a desire to have a natural setting to live and work in has evolved into a better appreciation for my surroundings. The natural settings throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania are a source of inspiration. The human figure is also a source of inspiration.
I express myself with watercolor through a visual language. There can be an overall freshness about the watercolor application and composition. I am not afraid to take chances or to make mistakes.
I use sumi brushes as well as standard watercolor brushes. I use colors such as violet and blue ultramarine, and cadmiums in red, yellow, green and orange for brightness. However, I mix my colors to create a variety of warm or cool grays and browns. In short, I can work up many color recipes to pull hues from a wide spectrum. I can tell how well the work is going by looking at my pallet. I often use Arches 140lb. cold press paper.
It’s natural for watercolors to run and blend into washes. They will dry as transparent or opaque. These qualities are attractive to me. I work en plein air and also from my own photography. I find something interesting in nature; the light and time of day can establish a tone and setting. Lline, shape and color are part of a visual language that create form and play a major part in composition.
Painting can be more about looking than putting your marks down. I will look at the subject many times before putting a loaded brush on my paper. My work is finished when there is an overall freshness, a good composition and good use of color and transparency. I initially began to exhibit my work to justify my passion for the process. Watercolor painting is a time for celebrating life for me and hopefully for the viewer too.