"Until 1957, I painted portraits. I very much wished to paint something more creative that I could exhibit, so that summer I went to Florence, Italy, for several months.

I rented a villa and began to paint. Sometimes I worked sixteen, eighteen hours a day - in every style I could think of and some without thinking, using every color made. I knew if I didn't succeed then I might never. It is far better to have talent and no ambition, than to have talent and a burning, unquenchable desire to succeed in that talent and fail.

I worked for months to no avail. I got desperate, I felt desperate - then I turned to prayer. I asked God to give me the ability to portray men and women in their true manner, so humankind would be viewed as God made us. I asked God to help me show the compassion, goodness and sadness of real human beings. I believe he gave me the ability to choose the mood, colors and technique to portray people as they really are. I don't always succeed, but I feel the painting of "Claudio" comes closest to the definition of my success.

Claudio was a "house-man" at the Serristori Palace in Florence. A gentle and kind man, he had experienced much sadness and tragedy but was always gentle and bright in spirit.

His is one of the first paintings I did in the "Vinciata" colors and technique."

It was at this time Joe discovered and fell in love with the Castello Vincigliata on a hillside outside Florence. With his new style of painting he needed a new name and shortened Vincigliata in Vinciata.

© 2013 Deborah King