Penn Hills painter draws inspiration from Italian vacation photos

Patrick Varine
| Wednesday, July 2, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Patricia Nigro's recent trip to Italy has served as inspiration for an entire collection of the Penn Hills resident's watercolor paintings.

“Temples in Sicily, landscapes in Tuscany, archways — really anything I found interesting,” she said of the paintings, which were inspired by the scores of photographs Nigro and her son took.

Four of the paintings from that collection will be on display through the end of July in the Boulevard Gallery's “Different Strokes” collection.

“The theme was ‘Trip to Italy,' ” Nigro said of the collection. “The one I used on a postcard about the exhibit was a portion of the Roman Coliseum. I also painted a dome from Florence.”

The four pieces at Boulevard Gallery, in Verona, are “Houses on the Road to Orvieto,” from southern Umbria; “Tower in Siena,” an old monastery converted to a four-star hotel in the Tuscan city; “Hotel Certosa di Maggiano,” another converted monastery; and “Gondolas on Grand Canal in Venice.”

One thing that gallery viewers will not see a lot of is people.

“I don't do people,” Nigro said. “That's a whole other area. Faces and the body are very difficult. I took some training on that years ago, but it's not my forté, and it's not what I enjoy doing.”

Nigro said her biggest challenge is that watercolors can be difficult to control and correct.

“When the paint gets on there, it's there,” she said. “Actually, the biggest challenge is that I'm really tough on myself, so if I'm not happy with a painting, I can be very critical of my own work.”

And while she is her own worst critic, Nigro also said she gets great enjoyment from her work.

“It's relaxing. It's very peaceful,” she said.

The main gallery will feature watercolor works by Nancy Smith and Jeanne Adams, and Irwin artist Linda Galati will also be featured in the “Different Strokes” gallery with Nigro.

Patrick Varine is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7845 or

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