After 18 years as a software engineer, Rita Cirillo decided to “Live the dream.” She gave up her day job to pursue her art career in earnest.
Her artistic journey began in Hawaii in 1974, where she lived and studied oil painting for four years. In 1978, she moved to Colorado and expanded her art horizon by taking up pastels and pen and ink.
In the 80s, financial and personal necessity sent her on parallel quests for knowledge and physical coordination. She attended the University of Colorado, where she obtained a B.S. with honors in Computer Science; and the American Black Belt Academy where she earned a First Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do.
When her three children were able to fend for themselves, the call of the easel could no longer be ignored. By 1992, she had begun her dual path: designing software by day and painting by night. In 1998, she discovered the joys and frustrations of workshops and art classes, attending both the Loveland Art Academy in Loveland and the Cottonwood Art Academy in Colorado Springs.
In 1999, she traveled to France to study plein air painting with Ian Roberts at l’Atelier Saint Luc, in Provence. It was there that she discovered her love for painting outdoors. She has since had the privilege of painting in workshops with such great artists as Skip Whitcomb, Jay Moore, Lorenzo Chavez, Chuck Mardosz, Kim English, Tim Deibler and Ken Auster.
When she’s not painting, biking, hiking or cross-country skiing, she is working on the renovation of her “Dream dump” in Victor, Colorado.
My painting process involves “letting go” : a letting go of results, letting go of ego, letting go of preconceived ideas of what a piece will turn into. If I can successfully let go, an amazing power takes over and flows through me and onto the canvas. The painting has become it’s own life force and is painting itself. These are my most successful paintings.
I want the you, the viewer, to fall into my paintings; to feel caught in a vortex of my experience of the subject. I want to awaken in you the experience of seeing the world as I see it. I show, through my art and through my life, that it is possible to exceed your wildest dreams. I want to remind you to live each moment fully in the experience of right now.