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White Structure

About  Rocco Pisto

Rocco Pisto Paintings

Influences by Eastern Michigan University, Department Head Kingsley Calkins, Professor Igor Beginin, and UMD Professor Electra Stamelos. These instructors shaped a lifelong passion for watercolor in my college years in the early 1970s . They were all a part of my reintroduction to watercolor. Igor Beginin taught watercolor for 30 years at EMU; he led the basic techniques and tools used with watercolor. His teaching methods introduced the freedom to paint loose and avoid making mistakes. Experimentation was vital in making the painting fresh and alive. The excitement of this class leads to a dedication to the medium under the tutelage of Kingsley Calkins.


Kingsley Calkins was EMU head of the department from 1960 to 1979. King was one of the first painters to work with acrylics and established a reputation as a fine watercolorist. His Friday afternoon critiques cemented my desire to make painting a lifelong profession. Electra Stamelos, a peer in school, is much more mature in her understanding and methodologies of the medium. Articulate and driven, Electra was firmly convinced of what a painting should be and always pushed to get the best it could produce. Electra became a Lecturer: Fine and Applied Arts - at the University of Michigan and Director: Art Acquisitions and Exhibitions University of Michigan - Dearborn Campus.



Since the 1970s, my love for the abstract elements of nature has found expression in water-based media. Working with watercolor's unexpected results allows one to produce unique, spontaneous works. Building layer upon layer – balancing color, tone, depth, and motion – is like creating a symphony. The paintbrush becomes a performer, dancing across the paper, juicy and full of life.

Though working deliberately, using traditional and non-traditional techniques, the unconscious is the undisputed "project manager." My work frees my imagination and provides many opportunities for magical accidents.

President Emeritus, Michigan Water Color Society

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