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Isidora Marzano: Quirky, Collage Style Oil Paintings

Isidora Marzano is all about tradition. The oil painter from Florence, Italy graduated with an art degree at the Florence Academy of Fine Arts and uses a traditional process of oil painting on canvas, with no under printing or computer-aided software.

Her linen canvases are primed with a special patina before painting to create a rich surface—a custom she believes brings life to her paintings. After completion, her paintings go through an age-old drying process. However, don’t be fooled—while her methods for creating art may be traditional, her artwork and subject matter most definitely are not!

Isidora’s figurative artwork is meant to inspire and intrigue, and is cause for much speculation and symbolism. These elements are all wrapped around a dash of humor and irony. In Happiness we see a barrage of wildlife behind three domestic, ordinary scenes. Two little girls ogle over a game on their iPad, while a single male rather exasperatedly grocery shops.


In the middle, a woman sleeps lightly atop a couch draped safely in sheets, as if she is unable to even get truly comfortable in her own home. To be wild and free or lost in technology and obligation—the answer to true happiness seems to be surrounding these three people, but they have yet to acknowledge the thrilling animals, lovely music and beautiful flowers behind them.

Instead, they will perhaps only find true happiness when pigs fly, as sardonically suggested in the background.

Little Mermaid, seen below, is especially thought-provoking. Isidora beautifully captured the sea coming in and crashing against rocks at the request of the approaching moon, yet the rocky shore is littered with trash, from empty bottles to a spindled wheel and Coca-Cola can.

little mermaid

The mermaid looks at the cat, pondering her existence with a red shoe of perhaps a past life clasped tightly in her hand. It’s as if she would rather be on land in her state, amidst the rubble, than in the wild splendor of the waves underwater, where she truly belongs.

She has no way of moving around on land, and although she sits atop a horse, the statue is just a bust, and is ironically missing legs, itself. In the background, a teal creature seems to callously mock her desperate circumstance.

Like winters that seem to last forever and time that moves at a snail’s pace, so is the feeling of restlessness. In Insomnia we see all these hypotheses come to life behind the woman. A (night) owl plays music deep into the evening, and the woman’s sleeplessness cannot even be consoled with a smoke or drink, nor binging on information from the Internet.


She seems like an artistic, creative type, many of whom often prevail in the dead of the night, when all others are asleep. No doubt she is twisting her thoughts into something very peculiar, and no doubt brilliant, as she sways rhythmically to her music.

There’s an abyss in the background that seems to take on the shape of a bear, draped in branches. I can’t help but wonder what exactly Isidora is trying to express with this particular element.

As you can see, Isidora’s work may be traditionally created, yet her ideas are anything but. View more of her exciting paintings on her website, and fall in love with Isidora’s symbolism and unique take on life.

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Who needs a paintbrush to paint? Not John Monson! John received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in studio art from Western Washington University, and is inspired by abstract expressionists. He uses various tools to layer oil paint on canvas, resulting in dynamic tension between rough texture and smoothly blended paint.

“My process yields a great. . . read more

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