Off The Wall Magazine Q&A with Brenda Cirioni



Maine.  My childhood summers were spent at my family’s camp on Webb Lake in Weld. During the day I canoeed, hiked, and explored the woods. My nights were spent on the screen porch listening to bullfrogs and loons, as I waited for a moose to slosh by in the lake. The camp, unfortunately, now exists only in photographs and memory. 


Inspiration.  Other than being in my studio there is nothing I like better than being in nature. My latest work is inspired by a trip to Crater Lake, Oregon. The Mt. Mazama volcano erupted violently, causing a collapse of the entire upper half of the edifice, which subsequently created Crater Lake. It is stunningly beautiful, and the epitome of transformation. Back in the studio I obsessed over the seismic eruption of Mt. Mazama: the fire, the ash, the loss of life, and the 7,700 years of snow and rain creating the ninth-deepest lake in the world. 


Medium.  Color, texture, layering, and mark-making are what interest me, and painting allows for all of those. In addition to paint, I often add all sorts of things to my paintings—wallpaper, fabric, crushed cans, newspaper, and even a burnt spilt egg and milk mixture that created a gorgeous high-sheen brown.


Artist Hero.  Early on in my painting studies, Pierre Bonnard and Balthus got my attention with their use of layering color upon color, as they created rich surfaces all over their canvases.


Where in Maine.  My sister has a home in Newcastle, with lots of acreage including meadow, woods, and a path to the Damariscotta River. We enjoy frequent visits and hiking, exploring, and birding. My other travels in Maine have been varied. The trip that probably influenced my art the most was to Acadia National Park and Cadillac Mountain. 


Education.  My earliest memories are of drawing and making things, and although the pieces were crude, I derived satisfaction and pleasure from the acts themselves. I never wanted to be anything other than an artist.





Learn more about this artist:


Available artwork


Radio Maine podcast interview

Art Matters blog article


Off The Wall magazine Q&A