Photo courtesy of Samantha Manetti

By Ryan Farrell, Staff Writer

New Zealand is a country lush with nature, towering mountains and breathtaking horizons. The people who inhabit the country express their appreciation for it through art, recreating the environment on the canvas. When Samantha Manetti studied abroad in New Zealand in 2009, she came across similar paintings and instantly discovered her appreciation for such art. Manetti always has an environmentalist mindset and it translates into her work heavily. At the time, the junior level student was pursuing a degree in wildlife and fisheries biology. She plans to graduate in 2020 with a major in art education.

Manetti said she’s always been experienced when it comes to drawing, but when she first started to practice with paint, she took to it naturally, realizing her newfound passion. She described it as “an evolution from drawing.” Manetti said that it provided an outlet for her to explore her relationship with nature and that her pieces usually feature light interacting with nature. She also used painting to observe the philosophy behind nature, ultimately learning from the outdoors.

Photo courtesy of Samantha Manetti

What draws her to painting is the overall variety that the medium provides. Not only are there a variety of painting methods, but a painting is constantly changing and could end in a completely unexpected way.

“Almost every painting I made had a different end point compared to what I had in mind,” Manetti said. She stated that the versatile nature of the craft made it unexpected, which adds more variety and identity to the medium.

Like most crafts, creating a sophisticated painting requires a significant amount of practice and patience.

Manetti stated that “one can’t be afraid to cover up areas of their painting.” She said that a painting, by nature, will always change unexpectedly. Manetti believes that getting too focused on the imperfections can distract you from the overall message.

Manetti believes that people should expect paintings to change embrace their blemishes in order to support the message of the piece. Another factor that she said can improve artwork is that artists need to be aware of the excited and calm tones of a painting.

Ultimately, these tones affect the audience. An exciting painting with a calming tone can make the onlooker conflicted. She said that “by being aware, you’re able to focus your message even further.” Manetti wants to use art to further connect communities. She also feels that communal involvement can help an artist better focus their message. Hearing different perceptions helps the artist find out what they can do to make their piece say what they mean. In the future, Manetti wishes to continue painting and also broaden her artistic skill-sets.


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