Mike Filippello – Folk Artist
Paintings (from top to bottom)
A Daydream Moment in Watersong Hollow
Timeless Christmas in Albrayadling Park
My name is Mike Filippello. I'm 46 years old and I'm an American Folk Artist, Illustrator, and Published Author.
I started painting my own brand of American Folk Art in 2002. From the first time I picked up a paint brush I fell in love with painting. It is something I love with a great passion. I live in western NY with my wife Tricia of almost 17 wonderful years, and our wonderful pets Countess Clementine Calypso of Geppetto's Legend - our French Poodle, Duchess Kismet Tsabella - our Calico cat and Lady Cannoli Piccolini - our younger Calico cat. I am working diligently toward breaking into the licensing industry.
What is your folk art about?
I paint mostly imaginary villages. If you look at my art every place has a feel to it of being a little place. It's what naturally happens when I start to paint, I really love to create these little villages that just stand still in their own time. One of the most important elements that I give each painting is it's own name, so that it has it's own identity and can be a real place.
Mostly whimsical little villages. I love to put clocks and trains and bridges in my paintings and I try to do as much detail as I can. I'm also trying to add more focal points to each of my paintings as well. I love to use all sorts of colors and mix colors to give my paintings lots of texture. Details of each building and element of my paintings are really important. Each painting has to have a certain "look" before I will say that it's done.
Why do you create?
I create art because I have to have an outlet for my visions of art and the simple fact that I love painting. There are times when I might go for a few days and not have the time to paint, and when I go back to it, I look at the canvas and the feel of the brush with the paint on it, it's something that has this incredible feeling that when I look at the canvas I just feel incredible that I can create something and it's just joy in it's ultimate simplicity for me. It's something that runs deep in me and I truly love painting with this incredible passion.
I'd have to say that Charles Wysocki is one of my favorite artists. I love his use of color and the dimensions that he has in each of his paintings. On a personal level within my family I consider myself lucky that I come from a creative family. My Mother is a really talented quilter, and artist. I remember when she used to work at a day care center and the building had this huge front window. My Mom would bring home these huge rolls of paper and markers and drew these incredible pictures to put in those huge windows. Those pictures were the talk of the town and I was so proud to say that my Mom made those beautiful pictures.
As for me, I just hope that people will like my paintings and get lost in the feelings of those little villages and want to imagine themselves in one of those little houses and looking out in the scenery of the rest of the painting. I hope it makes them happy.
Do you make living from your folk art?
I don't make a living---yet. I am doing as much as I can to get my name and my work out into the world. I am an Artist for a company called Artists in Cellophane in which I am one of many Artists that sell my work through this venue. I started selling my miniature paintings in 2008 with Art-o-mat and to date I have sold more than 400 individual miniature paintings. It has really been a great catalyst for getting my work and my name out into the world. I continue to seek opportunity at this time for the licensing industry. It would be an Incredible Opportunity to do Art for calendars and stationary and really anything else. I am also seeking those same opportunities for my picture books.
As often as possible. I'm always painting something for either Art-o-mat - which are the miniature blocks that I paint. I'm also always working on larger paintings that I upload to my gallery. I have a couple of places here where I live that display my art in their businesses and I try to keep those updated and change them out every once in a while so that people can see my new work as well.
I have a lot of places on the web where I display my art. My main online gallery at ArtWanted is by far my biggest gallery and contains a great deal of my work. I have a fan page for Maple Sky Dreamtree Studio which is my name for my art studio on Facebook and I upload to that page whenever I have a new painting. I have a Twitter account (MapleSkyDreamer) and although I don't tweet much from Twitter.com I do tweet from LinkedIn which has proven time and again to be an incredible resource for me.
Offline: I try to connect with local shops and have had some success in that regard. At this time though online is where I continue to have a strong focus as I am reaching out to find opportunities for licensing my artwork and my books.
I've been told many times to "Stay true to who you are" and I find that the real truth in what an Artist creates. What happens naturally when you create is what you do. I paint landscapes of imaginary places--it's what comes out naturally when I put the brush to the canvas. It's my love and my passion. I can only hope that every aspiring Artist can find the joy in what they do as I have been so fortunate to find.
Mike Filippello – American Folk Artist
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