La Primavera 12” x 16” oil on mounted muslin 2001

A Declaration of Love to an Italian Landscape

“Liebeserklarung an einen italienischen Landshich”
“A Declaration of Love to an Italian Landscape”

Walking on the crest between comprehensible reality and disintegration of structures, her pictures are abstract and real at the same time.  They copy what is there and at the same time what is in one’s imagination.  She felt the peace of her soul when painting the landscapes in Umbria and, at the same time, felt the excitement and yearning to cling tight to her experiences while in Italy.

Brought up in Ohio, Tina Ingraham, daughter of a mother pianist and art enthusiast, she became a master student of a very well known professor in New York City and she herself taught in Maine.

Two stipendium (fellowships) led the painter, at the time mother of three grown children, to her first two years in Italy.  Fortunate conditions, for instance, a commission to paint seven portraits, made another year in Southern Europe possible.   And of course Ms. Ingraham says she wants to return.  She says, “I feel at home in the old part of the world where the appreciation of art has always been a significant part of daily life.”  She felt as if it was a second home to her where she made many new friends.

The American painter with the stroke of her brush, like the old Masters, has also made the responsible persons of the Ottobrunn gallery her friends where she now exhibits for the second time.  Three years ago visitors could especially view still life paintings of the artist just discovering her excitement for the Italian cuisine. She perpetuated or immortalized the ingredients in her pictures.

This time there are paintings exhibited of landscapes, trees and emotions.  These are paintings, every single one, that show a matured difference in expression and technique emerging from her stay in Umbria.  The paintings include everything you can expect from Italian landscapes when you are dreaming of them.  But nothing of what is known disparagingly as “Toscana Painting.”

Ingraham’s paintings especially live from her unbelievable treatment of light.  She doesn’t paint the warm colored lucidity from the sun’s returning rays through turbulent clouds after a storm. She lets it come into being. About her painting entitled “Finalmente” she says, “The light was just there under the layers of clouds coming nearer and nearer.  I anticipated with brush how they would travel and change when watching the direction of their movement. It is always different, how they appear anew.”

Again and again such atmosphere fascinates her … the quick change of weather, typical of the Umbrian Autumn atmosphere.  And she pays tribute to these atmospheres with a transcendent brushstroke on fine muslin; a lyrical declaration of love to an Italian landscape, which deserves a declaration of love to the painter and her work.

Translated from the May, 2005 review, Munich, Germany
Suddeutsche Zeitung NR, 101  (Seite R 6)  By Alexandra Leuthner