Bruce Cascia began drawing at a young age and took his first oil painting class when he was just twelve years old. He eventually received his BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Bruce worked as an art director in major Chicago ad agencies for 35 years while continuing to paint and show in multiple galleries. He now paints full time.
Using oils mostly or, on occasion, acrylics, he paints in a photo-realistic style that borders on hyperrealism. Referring to his technique, Cascia notes “most of the time I paint from a photograph, but I’ve done watercolors on location. They lend themselves to quick composition studies, because you have to finish it before the light changes.”
Drawn to the freedom of the open road and to images that evoke a sense of nostalgia, Bruce’s initial paintings were of solitary diners, truck stops, and motorcycles all placed in dramatic vistas of the American Southwest. Through his paintings, Bruce captures urban and rural scenes that reflect his perspective of American life and allow others a glimpse of isolated moments in time. His efforts to elevate these mundane or forgotten elements to that of “painting subject” is a way to preserve on canvas that which may eventually be lost or torn down.
Bruce’s “Flatland” Landscape Series, evoke a more contemplative mood, and was originally inspired by observing dramatic thunderheads roll across the Illinois prairie dotted with lone farmhouses. For his current work, Bruce draws inspiration from his many road trips out west. Photographing the ever changing clouds and the evolving landscapes provide him with valuable reference to create these dramatic images, utilizing his powerful skies for another purpose, to instill a sense of scale on his country scenes with lone farm houses. Lighting plays an imporant role in all his paintings, combining his inspiration from Maxfield Parrish and Andrew Wyeth.
The “Local Neon” series grew out of his fascination for vintage neon signage and dusk lighting. “It’s that time of day, golden hour, when neon signage comes alive and competes with nature for color intensity” – somewhat an extension of his “Hot Dog Stand” series. It’s nostalgic Americana again, with it’s inherent campiness and a nod to pop culture.
Additional work can be viewed at the following galleries and websites: GiacobbeFritz Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM, www.giacobbefritz.com,
Lovetts Gallery, Tulsa, OK, www.lovettsgallery.com; Pa