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Making an impression

“Mr. & Mrs. Scarecrow,” watercolor.

PROCTORVILLE — When Barbara Delligatti picks up a brush, her first concern is to let herself be guided by the light.

Delligatti is the latest artist to exhibit at Ohio University Southern-Proctorville Center.

“I try to first decide where my light sources are coming from,” Delligatti said. “That determines where the darks and lights land on the paper. Lights and darks oppose each other. If you don’t have that, the painting looks flat.”

Those are the nuances of technique that Delligatti has studied since she first was drawn to expressing herself through a visual medium.

“I never have been trained professionally,” she said. “I learned by myself through workshops, also videos and studying on my own.”

Her current show is a mixture of watercolor, oils and acrylics.

“It is a cornucopia of expression, different types of my style,” Delligatti said. “I wanted to have an array of different media so people can see the different things that I do. Technique is not all true realism. I like to have a lot of impressionistic pictures. Realism is beautiful but if you have something more impressionistic, people can view it their way. If you do all realism, it is like taking a photograph. There is nothing wrong with that style, but it is not always my choice in painting.”

“The Dive,” acrylic.

Delligatti has been working on the show off and on since summer, shifting from her studio to the classroom as her schedule allows.

Right now she teaches watercolor classes where she details how to master the techniques that have given her work its success.

“You can get an idea from watching a video or reading books,” she said. “But if you work with an instructor, you really are getting hands on. When the students understand why a certain technique works, it is wonderful to see their eyes light up. That kind of excitement makes me feel I have done my job.”

Delligatti’s show will be at Proctorville through Nov. 22. Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday; and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. There is no admission to the show.