Under the Sea
That's where painter Dan Famiglietti finds his inspiration
Blue, green and yellow mahi mahi swim
past coral on the ocean floor while a school of bright, multicolored tuna get lost in blue surf. A trio of barracudas is on the hunt as a host of blue crab scurries against the red tide. These are just a few of the images in Dan Famiglietti's world.
A St. Augustine resident who graduated from Flagler College in 2000 with a B.A. in graphic design and a minor in fine arts, Famiglietti is showing his ocean-inspired work in a solo exhibit, "Water Lines," as part of St. Johns County's "Art in Public Places" series.
"The environment and images — locally — are inspiring and great subjects to paint," Famiglietti said. "I love the ocean and things around it, so it's an easy fit. Plus, I think the ocean has endless options to paint, and I can use pretty much any color combination."
Originally from Bucks County, Pa., just north of Philadelphia, Famiglietti, 36, moved to St. Augustine in 1997. He's been creating art in the area for more than 16 years and has shown at exhibits at the St. Augustine Art Association, Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp & Art Festival in Fernandina Beach and Long Island Fine Arts Festival.
During the day, Famiglietti is the owner of Anchor Tile & Design, a custom tile and stone-setting company specializing in bathrooms, kitchens and flooring. Creating mosaic tile and stonework for his clients not only pays the bills, it's another avenue for Famiglietti's creative side.
With a steady 9-to-5 job and a growing family, Famiglietti still finds time to produce art. His medium of choice is acrylic paint on canvas.
"My process is, I sketch pieces and put them together," he said. "I spend a good amount of time concepting and doing layout. I paint at night and on the weekends. Saturday mornings are my favorite."
Famiglietti's current show at Rotunda Gallery is energized by local coastal waters chock full of fish, turtles, alligators, waves and birds.
"I usually find inspiration from the ocean and its surroundings," he said. "Also through travels."
A trio of sea turtles dance among the waves, a multihued bass breaks the waterline, psychedelic colors swirl around gigantic orange-and-red koi — more images from the upbeat, optimistic world of Famiglietti's art.
"I paint all the time, but definitely get in modes where that's my focus and all energy goes there," he said. "My approach is not traditional. I simply just don't sit down and paint. There is a plan and a process. Then, it's all about staying up late and getting it done. Canvas, wood and a lot of ‘oops' paint from Home Depot."
Famiglietti's show is the newest "Art in Public Places" exhibit presented by the Cultural Council, St. Johns County's designated arts agency.
"Philip McDaniel and Terry Drozd are the people who helped make this opportunity happen," the artist said.
"I'm thankful for them helping me open the door."
"Water Lines" features various pieces from Famiglietti's oeuvre. These works range from $950 to more than $9,500, and a few of the pieces on display have already been sold.
"People tell me my art makes them happy," he said. "I think that is pretty rad. Enjoy the view."