The fleeting nature of winter mist . . . the Wistow Trees Collection

The Etching Series - Wistow Trees by Maria Bragoli- Limited edition fine art prints

Inspiration and Origin
The images above form part of The Etching Series - the Wistow Trees Collection, images inspired by the extensive snowfalls which occurred throughout most of the UK in early February this year. I remember my joy one morning when I saw the thick envelopping of hoar frost and mist outside my window. When the more sensible course of action would have been to stay snugly wrapped up inside, I triple-wrapped up, packed shovel, Wellingtons and salt grit in the car, (always best to be prepared!), and drove, very slowly, to the depths of the Leicestershire countryside. A gentle silence surrounded the rolling hillocks of the Wistow area, dogs walked, passers-by nodded, visibility was negligible, varying shades of white to grey, walking within a cloak of white-grey mist, with dark etchings of tree trunks, hedges and fences outlined in the near distance. I was in my element, a three-dimensional monochrome haven, feeling timeless, yet fleeting and changing by the minute.

By the afternoon, the mist had lifted. But I had captured the atmosphere of those fleeting moments 

The resultant series of images, The Etching Series, forms part of my ongoing 'painting by camera' concept, which I first described here in December 2011 -

'Painting by camera' is my term for many of the images that I create,
combining my vision of an image, playing with light and using the camera
as both the canvas and the brushes, where the final image is created in camera
as much as possible.'

The Etching Series develops the concept further by adding manipulation in order to combine the initial capture with the concept I had on the day, of clean, sharply detailed monochrome forms.

Images in The Etching Series - Wistow Trees have been very well received from when gallery owners first saw a preview selection in late winter/early spring 2012. However, before delivering to galleries, i wanted time to develop and extend the collection, until I felt happy with the final results. The current set of 4 images were only finalised in late September 2012 and have been only been on show at at high-end galleries from mid to late October. Viewers comment in particular that the images are striking, calm and contemplative. Other comments are that viewers are unsure what media the images are, whether a painting or etching. This is exactly what I wanted to achieve, the crossover and blurring of traditionally distint and separate fine art forms.

A special characteristic of this series is that there is a variation within each limited edition of 150. I produce a small batch of each image at a time, and between each batch there is a variation in tint or contrast and sometimes in minor changes to small details within the image. Tints can vary from soft to mid grey to indigo blue, giving an individual character to each image. This is in keeping with the centuries old tradition of fine art etching now updated within my images

The manipulation of the image and professional standard printing produces intensely fine detail, far more than can be seen when viewing the scene for real, and also, far more than can be seen on a screen.

Along with a number of other images in the same style, each image forms part of a limited edition of 150, on photographic art paper with archival quality inks. Each image is signed and certificated. Within each edition, varying sizes are available, starting from 10 inch x 8 inch (mounted) to around A4 and A3 sizes.

Images are available with pure acid-free mounts, or framed and mounted, in off white solid wood frames, or unwaxed solid oak frames. Frames are sealed with acid free materials and come with cord and fittings ready to hang.

The rich heritage and symbolism of trees is an integral part of timeless cultures and mythologies. I also support the need for rural and environmental protection as essential to the human spirit. I leave this post with the quotation below.

'Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise that we cannot eat money,' (Cree Native American proverb).

More details and images are viewable by clicking 
on the dedicated page: The Etching Series - Wistow Trees


Wistow Trees on show

A selection from the Wistow Trees Collection is currently on display at the West End Gallery in Leicester. The limited editions are produced in small batches, giving a more individual character to the collection.  This means that different galleries have slightly different versions within the same limited edition. Galleries also show a selection of different framing options and these can be changed to suit individual preferences.

West End Gallery - Wistow Trees Collection -  Winter to Spring 2013
107 Highcross Street
Leicester LE1 4PH

Open Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm
Saturday 9am - 4pm

Within each limited edition, versions in different tints are available. The limited editions at the West End Gallery have soft indigo tints. Other tints are available within each edition, for example, a soft sage grey, a soft warm woody brown, soft mid-blue, a soft monochrome, or a stronger black and white tint. Please speak to Gillian Geary of the West End Gallery if you wish to see a selection of different tints.

Please note that since each tint is prepared in small batches, if it is not already on display in the gallery,there may be a short wait when ordering to allow me the time to produce a specific tone and size and then to have it professionally printed to my specifications. However, any image which is already in the gallery and in the tint you like, can be purchased immediately from there.

A variety of framing options is also available, including  contemporary off-white framing,  unwaxed, solid oak frames, and a soft cream wash in solid wood.

The Wistow Trees Collection was also on display in other galleries in autumn and winter 2012. These were time-limited shows and have now finished. The West End gallery has more long-term display of my work and this collection, as well as a range of mounted prints of some of my other work is currently available to view in that gallery.

'Only when the last tree has died . . . . '

An image from The Etching Series - the Wistow Trees Collection.

Images in The Etching Series form part of my ongoing 'painting by camera' concept, which I first described here in December 2011 -

        'Painting by camera' is my term for many of the images that I create,
        combining my vision of an image, playing with light and using the camera
        as both the canvas and the brushes, where the final image is created in camera
        as much as possible.' 

The Etching Series develops the concept further by adding manipulation in order to combine the initial capture with the concept I had on the day, of clean, sharply detailed monochrome forms.

The rich heritage and symbolism of trees is an integral part of timeless cultures and mythologies. I also support the need for rural and environmental protection as essential to the human spirit. I leave this post with the quotation below.

'Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise that we cannot eat money,'  (Cree Native American proverb).


Ellerington Fine Art - New Jewel in Clarendon Park

This Saturday 15th September sees the opening of a new gallery in Clarendon Park, Ellerington Fine Art, run by Louise Ellerington. This is just what Clarendon Park needs. With the finishing touches being put to the inside, the gallery already looks stunning from the outside.

To celebrate the event, this new gallery will exhibit works by a number of selected artists, following the theme of Beauty and Ruin. The final selection of one piece per artist was made by Scott Bridgwood. Both fine art paintings and fine art photography are included, displaying a range of interpretations from a number of established and emerging artists and fine art photographers.

My selected piece is a little different in style to my previous work and it will be interesting to see the reaction.

EXHIBITION & NEW GALLERY OPENING DAY:  Saturday 15 September 2012
                                                                        -  from 10.30am to all day
Visitors are welcome to drop by at any point in the day to view the superb collection of work on show.

Exhibition:  Beauty and Ruin
Dates:  Saturday 15 September - Saturday 13 October

Ellerington Fine Art
190 Clarendon Park Road
Leicester LE2 3AF

OPEN        Tuesday - Saturday  10.30 am - 1pm  and 2pm - 5.30pm
CLOSED   Sunday, Monday and Tuesday



New exhibition at Charnwood Museum, Leicester Friday 3 August - Sunday 30 September

I am delighted that I have been asked back to Charnwood Museum, Loughborough to show my exhibition 'Beyond Contemplation'.  The exhibition of fine art prints are on show throughout August and September. The images continue the theme of abstract and semi-abstract work, allowing the viewer to contemplate and imagine, as a pause from everyday reality. 

From 3rd September - 30 September, there will be a changeover of some of the images so that viewers can see a greater range of my work.

For full details, click  CHARNWOOD MUSEUM EXHIBITION


Sunday Art House Leicester 2012 & extra day at 190 Clarendon Park Road

The Art House 2012 Leicester set off to a flying start this Saturday. The venue at 190 Clarendon Park Road where a selection of my work is on display, was buzzing. 

All nine houses are also open on Sunday 10th June, as the final day of the houses art trail. However, since this is a once-a-year event, Louise Ellerington has decided to open her Clarendon Park venue for an extra day, on Monday 11th June, from 11am - 6pm.

Art House 2012 Leicester
190 Clarendon Park Road,
Leicester LE2 3AF

Saturday   9th June 11am - 6pm
Sunday   10th June 11am - 6pm
Monday  11th June 11am - 6pm

 See the post below for full details of all nine venues.


Local Art Trail - Art House 2012, Leicester

Maria Bragoli at Art House 2012, Leicester

I was delighted when Louise Ellerington invited me a few months ago to take part in this prestigious annual event. 

For two days only a selection of my fine art images will be on show at 190 Clarendon Park Road. This forms part of an artists' trail in a number of houses in Clarendon Park and Stoneygate and shows the very best of local artist talent with a wide variety of work, from photography and painting to sculpture and ceramics.

I finished setting up my pieces earlier this week and have a superb space to show my work.

Opening times are as follows:

Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th June 2012

11am - 6pm

190 Clarendon Park Road, Leicester LE2 3 AF

Please note that there is a free hopper bus service on these two days to transport visitors to the various venues.



'... unique creative slant' - Solo exhibition: Beyond Contemplation, Charnwood Museum, Loughborough

1st - 29th June 2012

Below is an extract from the Loughborough Echo about my latest solo exhibition. I would also like to thank Alex Gasson of Charnwood Museum whose organisational skills and enthusiasm for my work have helped to make this exhibition possible. And to Councillor Paul Harley for his appreciative comments about my work.

Art collection on show at Queen's Park

THIS month, visitors to the Queens Park Cafe Gallery in Loughborough will be able to set their eyes on the latest exhibition from Leicestershire artist Maria Bragoli.

The exhibition, titled Beyond Contemplation, is a vibrant collection of images, enigmatic and intriguing with Marias unique creative slant.

Coun Paul Harley, cabinet member for Leisure and Culture said: Were delighted to welcome an exhibition from such an accomplished local artist to the town.

With the exhibition running throughout June, including the public holiday, I hope residents will embrace the chance to enjoy her work for themselves.

Charnwood Museum Operations Manager Alex Gasson said: Id describe Marias style as work in which even the most everyday subject matter either shouts out at you, or makes you curious about where the image comes from and what it might represent.

Link to full Loughborough Echo article   HERE


Leicester Contemporary Art Group Exhibition - LGAG 2012 Annual Show

This is the last day of the Leicester Contemporary Art Group Annual exhibition. Each artist could exhibit a maximum of two works. As a newly joined member of this group, I have been very pleased with the feedback and comments that I have received. I am also delighted to be associated with a group of artists who produce such a high calibre of works.

The private view was packed and Don Hutson, an honorary member of the group and long-established artist, gave the main speech, showing an understanding of the sensibilities of artists and an awareness of the many reasons underlying the creative drive.

Louise Ellerington is the originator and driving force behind the LCAG. She encouraged artists to go to the West End Gallery during the two-week show so that visitors could not only view and buy the works but also meet and talk with the artists. This created a greater connection between artists and those who appreciate art, including when I went there. In my opinion, meeting the artists makes a gallery more interactive. In my imagination, it harks back to Mediaeval and Renaissance times, of the patron (as buyer) speaking directly with the artist, who has brought along a sample of their work to show.


Leicester Contemporary Art Group

Leicester Contemporary Art Group is a collection of artists brought together by Louise Ellerington, a highly talented artist in her own right. Her vision was to create a group where two and three dimensional artists could have a showcase for their work, both online and in real-life group exhibitions. Artists are able to explore and develop new themes and projects, while still working autonomously. I have known about this group for a number of years and was always impressed by the quality and diversity of the work on display. Following on from my first solo exhibitionn at the LCB Depot last November, I am now delighted that I have been asked to join this dynamic and locally based group.

New developments

I have been very busy over the last month, preparing some new work and organising it for display in some prestigious galleries and other events.


Photorealism, photography and painting

I am in the process of preparing new images. They develop and extend the theme of photorealism  and hyperrealism in art, but in reverse, that is, by creating photographic images which display a painterly aesthetic through the photographic medium.