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Meet Brenda Salamone of Salamone Fine Art in Highland Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brenda Salamone.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Brenda. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I have been creating art as long as I can remember. I don’t know if I ever came to a realization that I wanted to become an artist, I just was an artist. I started drawing portraits and horses when I was around 10. I would draw the family pet for friends, and by high school, my portraits were good enough that parents were commissioning my work.

After graduating from the University of Florida, I searched for quite a while for my artistic calling. I painted murals at restaurants, or would draw the occasional portrait on commission, but when the movie Jurassic Park came out in 1993, I knew what I wanted. I went back to school, learned 3D animation, and began a 16-year career in computer games. Eventually, I began to miss creating with brushes, and since I am always interested in learning new art techniques, I decided to go for film and television makeup. I went to makeup school in Los Angeles, learned all about special effects makeup, and worked on several projects and movies, including The Lone Ranger in 2013. Although I still create ghouls for Halloween, or will do makeup for friends’ projects, I eventually went back to traditional art, and started teaching it to teens and adults, along with strengthening my fine art portfolio.

My current work, Geomorphic Abstractions, came about from a deepening appreciation of the artistic beauty in all nature’s forms. My style is an abstract expression of the beauty of gemstone minerals in their natural state before they are cut and polished to perfection, and my technique came about from examining the crystals and stones in the collection I’ve been building since I was a child. I take pictures of them and zoom in to where I can see all the cracks, veins, and color variations at high resolution. I begin by doing a very rough sketch on my canvas and block in the largest color areas. I then lay in a tint of color that is the complement to the dominant colors in the stone. From there, the painting develops layer by layer.

I think my unrelenting quest to learn everything I can in the art world has gotten me to where I am today. I’m never bored with what I do, because I’m constantly exploring new ways to create.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It definitely hasn’t been a smooth road. Making art as your means of making a living is risky. There’s no bi-monthly paycheck, there are clients that flake out, or long dry spells where you don’t even have any clients.

For me, the struggle has always been to keep at it, no matter what, and not get discouraged. There have been times when I didn’t have any money to buy oil paints or fresh canvases, so I’d cannibalize what I already had and try painting with hair dye and random inks I had in the studio. And, it’s never easy to keep sending out your portfolio over and over again, just to get “Thanks, but no thanks,” or even no answer at all.

I have to look at all of it as challenges that will only make my eventual success that much sweeter. This year has been good – I’ve sold several small paintings, and three large pieces from my current series, Geomorphic Abstractions. I’ve had my work in two galleries, won four awards from the Exhibition of Fine Art, San Diego County Fair 2017, and scarves that are printed with my paintings are selling through Vida at shopvida.com/collections/brenda-salamone.

Please tell us about Salamone Fine Art.
Salamone Fine Art is the culmination of everything that I love to do. I specialize in original abstract paintings, and my work is known for the intense, vibrant colors I incorporate. The work I’ve created has been used in movies and TV shows, and I’m actively seeking representation.

I think what sets Salamone Fine Art apart is my versatility – I can create landscapes, portraits, still life, wildlife and pet portraits, as well as fine art duplications of traditional and contemporary styles. I love traditional 2D animation, and am building a portfolio of background paintings specifically for animation. I’m also a children’s book illustrator, a member of the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators, the Society of Illustrators, Women in Animation, ASIFA-Hollywood, the Pastel Society of San Diego, and the San Dieguito Arts Guild.

I’m very passionate about all forms of artwork, and I’ve just started learning encaustic art, an ancient technique that uses hot wax and pigments for creating the painting.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I have to say, I had a really great childhood, so I have a lot of great memories. One of my favorites as an artist came from my 12th birthday. My dad, who was my earliest teacher and influence, took me to the largest art store in the area and set me loose with $100 spending money. It was a fantastic present, and I still have some of the items I bought.

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