Doris Pontieri Fashioning Impressionism
Finding international success and redefining what it means to be a true artist.
One of humanity’s most cherished expressions, storytelling, has image- making as its origin, which stretches back to prehistory; a universal language without words, visual art has stood the test of time. For Canadian artist Doris Pontieri, capturing the raw emotion of the human experience through poetic gestures on canvas is her gift to society.
Following her 10-year lap with Ferrari, in a career which has prestige all its own, Pontieri’s life took an unforeseen turn when she got a request to donate one of her paintings. It was an act that had no idea would change the trajectory of her career for the next 30 years, ultimately paving the way for her to pursue a lifelong passion as a full-time artist.
Best known for her series of Birch Tree paintings, Pontieri has achieved a success that most can only dream of. Having received accolades from numerous institutions and attracted the interest of the most prestigious patrons in the art community since her international debut in 2012, she has become one of the few Canadian artists to present her work every year at the Louvre in Paris. Pontieri’s fantastic success has been propelled not just by global art aficionados. Some of her paintings have found their way into the collections of the likes of Marina Picasso, Pablo’s granddaughter, who for many years would also exhibit them in her “Artistes du Monde” gallery show in Cannes for years to come.
Pontieri, who is self-taught, recalls her initial attraction to painting and how she became involved in the world of art. “My mother was an artist, and I grew up watching her paint,” she says. The Toronto local shared memories of her late mother and how she has been an ultimate source of inspiration throughout Pontieri’s career, even in spirit. “One of my most famous paintings is my birch trees, and that really came from the memories of my mother. We had horses in our family, and we would ride in the wintertime. We’d ride through clearings of birch trees; they were just so beautiful and breathtaking … no leaves or foliage. You could really see the interplay of branches, which was like a ballet, and they were gorgeous.”
Remembering those rides with her mother became her fuel for finding her own voice within the art form. Pontieri told Dolce, “I always wanted to paint how that felt to me because it was such a wonderful time in my life, but it was impossible to come up with a way to create the image in my head.” The artist shared that through exploring a variety of media she came up with the technique of using a combination of charcoal, watercolour and acrylic to create a unique and beautiful effect that captures the essence of nature.
Pontieri often adds what she calls a “symbol” to her works, a single touch of colour that adds life to her blustery winterscapes, such as a dash of brilliant red on the branch of a sapling shivering in the snow, to symbolize Canada’s resilience and, more personally, to symbolize “my mother’s perseverance and strength to never give up.” It serves as a reminder that hope can prevail, even against all odds.
Pontieri’s work has been displayed in galleries and exhibitions throughout North America and Europe, and in some of their most romantic cities, including Cannes, London and Venice, and she attends many of her own shows, frequently with her daughter.
Her talent and creative process is stunning. She paints entirely from emotion and memory rather than using a real subject for reference, the more traditional approach. Pontieri thrives on her ability to work closely with her media in a harmonious dance to bring her visions to life. This talent has undoubtedly solidified her reputation as a skilled Canadian impressionist artist.
Throughout her career, Pontieri has created hundreds of original paintings, often devoting over 20 hours per day to her practice. She anticipates producing a collection of nearly 350 paintings each year, which she plans to sell through various art dealers. This devotion combined with her effort to incorporate feeling within every paint stroke is Pontieri’s way of leaving her essence on each canvas. Painting from emotion is the secret to unlocking what it means to be a true artist. “It’s been an absolute joy,” Pontieri often exclaims when describing her career.
Despite her success, Pontieri remains humble and passionate about her work. She continues to teach art to students of all ages and skill sets, writing for various publications and sharing her knowledge and experience with others. Her art is a reflection of her love of life, and it inspires others to pursue their dreams and follow their hearts. She continues to create beautiful pieces that touch the hearts of people all over the world, and her legacy will undoubtedly live on for generations to come.