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  • Writer's pictureLynne Kornecki

Oil Painter Gravitates to Creating a Distinctive "Old Dutch Masters" Mood in His Own Masterful Work

Award-winning oil painter, GEORGE CEFFALIO, spends considerable time assembling colorful props and adjusting lighting to create pleasing compositions. PICTURED ABOVE: "I Will be Dreaming"; 12 x 9; $1,150. Scroll down for more examples of George's incredible work...

From the moment he sold his first oil painting in 2007, George Ceffalio was instantly hooked on becoming a full-time fine artist. That year, his wife had encouraged him to participate in a local art fair because his inventory at home was stacking up. When one of his paintings sold, he was thrilled.

“I was always dabbling in art and studied commercial art in college, but I honestly didn’t believe it could be a viable way to earn a living,” George explains.

It took a while to convince him that a living wage was possible. However, by 2017, George was indeed a full-time fine artist producing pieces reminiscent in style of the Old Dutch Masters. He is quick to credit his wife, Monica, for being his Number One fan and supporter assisting in making this transition possible.

George describes his paintings as “Classical Realism” in the “Chiaroscuro” style – the contrast of lights and darks. He chooses to paint on wood panel for both its quality and longevity using high quality oil paints for their deep and vivid colors. His preferred subject matter is still life and actively pursues props that can aid in creating his compositions.

“I set up a table and spend lots of time with the composition,” he says. “Everything in the still life I assemble is real – real plants, real food. It might take me up to an hour or more to set it all up including the proper lighting. It is so important to paint something that is pleasing to your own eye.”

His finished pieces are relatively small from 5 x 7 to 12 x 16. Although he has produced work in other sizes those are his comfort zone. All his paintings are unique – one-of-a-kind. With the smaller pieces, many times patrons buy up to four to create an arrangement for their wall. His price ranges are $435 for a 5 x 7 and up to $5,600 for a 30 x 36.

He paints on handmade panels that are ½” thick plywood with a mahogany veneer and covered by acid-free paper. His vendor claims this substrate will last 600 years!

“I prefer wood for its smooth surface,” George says. “It is easier for paint to glide along, and I can mix colors right on it. When you look at famous old paintings, such as the Mona Lisa, they were painted on wood to last longer.”

He has found that "Old Master Maroger" gives him just the right results. Dry time, he says, depends on the thickness of the paint application.

Today, George maintains a traditional business day schedule in his studio starting at 9 AM whether he feels like painting or not. He treats it like a job and knows how important it is to keep up his inventory for the many art shows he and his wife travel to throughout the year.

His work is available for purchase on his website, and he ships anywhere.

Learn more here: George Ceffalio Fine Art

"Better Life" 12 x 16; $1,435

"Do It All Again" 12 x 16; $1,435

"Lilies in a Red Vase" 32 x 26; $5,650

"The End" 12 x 16; $1,150

"Momentary Change" 12 x 16; $1,435

The artist, George Ceffalio

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