Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Mike Cervone. I’m a Mortgage Broker by day but my passion is family and art. I try to spend as much time as I can with my family and my art.
Why do you do what you do?
I do this because art is a way to escape from one’s daily stress and it is a way to challenge myself to get better each time. The problem solving and challenges that come with painting can be very frustrating but I chase the feeling I get each time I complete something that I’m proud of.
What is your background?
A: My background is in the Financial Services and Mortgage industry. However, I’ve always tooled around with drawing and sketching. Three years ago, after watching hundreds of Youtube painting videos, I decided that I would give it a try and use it as a valuable escape after a long day in the office.
What is integral to your work?
What is integral to my art work is an interesting subject, a great reference, and inspiration. Most people these days don’t have the time to sit hours for a painting so I will generally work from a photograph that I’ve meticulously set up and taken myself. A lot of times I will spend hours going through paintings from my favorite artists until I see something that inspires me. I try to capture that in the photo and later in the painting.
Explain what you do in a way that would help lay
people understand it.
In a nutshell, I move paint around on a canvas until I like what I see. I start by taking a good photo. I then complete a drawing of that photo and transfer it onto a canvas. Once my rendering is on the canvas, I’ll work off of the photograph to try and capture the essence and likeness of the individual. I try to break down the forms (brow ridge, cheek bones, etc.,) into their general shapes and render those forms in paint, changing the color and value as that particular form turns towards or away from the light. I work on one form until I am completely satisfied and then move on to the next. After some time, you’ve got a bunch of forms that end up “clicking” into each other.
How has your art changed over time?
I started with landscapes but it didn’t inspire me. I then moved onto painting people. I started with taking a photo and painting it in a comic book style (more along the lines of Pop Art). Once I started studying tutorials from some of my favorite figure painters, I was more drawn to the classical approach to painting. As I complete each painting, I learn a bit more about the underlying skeletal and muscular structure that is common in all people and this makes, in my opinion, each subsequent painting a bit better than the last.
What art do you most identify with?
There is quite a bit. I identify a lot with the Baroque style of art from the 17th and late 18th centuries and tend to be drawn towards the Realism and Romanticism art styles
What work do you most enjoying doing?
I mostly enjoy painting portraits and people. Again, there is a satisfaction when you complete a piece of art that in the end, does capture the sitter’s likeness.
What’s your strongest memory of your childhood?
My strongest memory or memories of childhood was of drawing. I would spend hours a day drawing from magazines or creating my own characters and most memories I have of childhood generally included a pencil and paper.
What themes do you pursue?
My common theme is, of course, people. Since I am only 3 years into oil painting, my goal is to work towards creating some narrative pieces that follow the artistic styles that I identify with.
What’s your favorite art work or your favorite artist & why?
I have many favorite artists and artwork that I love for their own unique styles. My top favorites would include William Adolphe Bouguereau, John Singer Sargent, Caravaggio, and Velazquez.
St. Johns Magazine