The Norman Transcript

N-town stories

May 9, 2014

Joey Frisillo’s paintings to grace Norman Depot

NORMAN — Joey Frisillo’s paintings to grace Norman Depot

Tulsa artist Joey Frisillo has been inspired by the colors of Oklahoma’s earth, sky and waters. As anyone who has lived here for any length of time can tell you, that’s going to be a lot of various shades of red. Oklahoma has glorious crimson sunsets, startlingly red soil freshly broken open by construction equipment and rose-tinged lakes.

“I paint in pastel and oil,” Frisillo said. “I interpret the earth, sky and water with Oklahoma color schemes. It’s amazing what Mother Nature paints for us every evening in the sky.”

The artist resides with her metal-engraver husband Al and four canines in a home overlooking Keystone Lake on the Arkansas and Cimarron rivers. The Depot, 200 S. Jones Ave., is hosting an exhibition featuring 50 of Frasillo’s masterful canvases beginning May 9 and running through June 28. The show’s opening reception is during the 2nd Friday Circuit of Art on May 9.

Frisillo’s work is rife with prairie flowers, verdant meadows and the occasional white crane perched on a formation of sandstone. Lipstick red azaleas, elegant autumn gold leaves and azure blue skies dominate paintings that convey the majesty and tranquility of a natural world. There aren’t any grizzly cowpokes or rattlesnakes that you can see roaming around Frisillo’s canvas universe.

“I’ve always loved the landscape,” she said. “Back when I was a kid we’d drive places and I enjoyed looking at the scenery. When I moved to Colorado there was amazing scenery to behold and I lived there for 17 years. Moving to Oklahoma was kind of a tough transition.”

But as other transplants have learned, the red dirt here is somehow slowly but magically seductive.

“Oklahoma is different from the Rocky Mountains but I also got back into art here,” she said. “It motivated me to learn how to paint a tall grass prairie and water which is particularly difficult for me. I work outside as much as possible which then informs the studio work. You see more details and perspectives outside than you do in a photograph.”

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