Roberto Ruschena was born in the countryside in Brusasco, a small Northern Italian village where his family sought safety toward the end of World War II. His family returned to Turin, where Roberto was raised and educated. At an early age, Roberto took inspiration from the work of the French Impressionists, especially Monet, Sisley, and Pissarro. One of his favorite pastimes as a young man was to stand in awe before the majestic landscapes of the famous 19th century artists from Northern Italy, Fontanesi and Reycend.
At age 18, he found solace and fulfillment in painting following his father’s death. His oil paintings of the Italian countryside expressed his love for his birthplace and his admiration of the masters’ techniques he had so long admired. Painting provided him a quiet time to contemplate nature and find inner peace. His countryside reflect a dreamlike quality, capturing the perfection and unspoiled beauty of the land he loved as a youth.
Roberto ventured to the Ivory Coast, West Africa, after earning a degree in Electrical Engineering in Italy. For six years he helped this developing country harness the power of computers. He designed a postage stamp for the Ivory Coast hailing the beginning of the computer age. He began a complementary pursuit of photography, composing photographs of the African people and their country which reflect his deep admiration and appreciation of balance, harmony and beauty. His collection of photographs currently numbers in the thousands and spans over thirty years and four continents.
From equatorial Africa, he was drawn to Canada, where he celebrated the changing of the four seasons in his landscapes. Leaving the Canadian winter behind, he came to the United States, living in and painting landscapes of areas as diverse as the steamy bayous of Louisiana, the pristine mountains of Colorado, and the vast canyons of Arizona and Utah.
In 1982, he developed a technique using oil pastels to create impressionistic landscapes that simulate the texture of an oil painting while achieving greater sharpness and vibrancy of colors. The result is an ideal landscape—one that may not exist as depicted, but which artistically combines the best aspects of actual landscapes.
Roberto Ruschena has successfully exhibited his paintings in a variety of galleries. His paintings are part of private collections in Italy, Africa, Canada and the United States, including celebrity collections.
With my paintings I seek to inspire a sense of peace and relaxation. Each time I paint, I take a journey with nature to celebrate and exalt harmony and beauty.
My first creative expression was painting the Italian countryside. The white houses perched on rolling hilltops, the country roads, and the cultivated patches of land show the harmony of people living in balance with nature. But my emphasis is on the land itself, using roads, trails and pathways for guidance and direction to the viewer’s eye. My aim is to transport the viewer into this peaceful land and to point the way beyond--toward the next valley, the next village and toward the unknown.
While living in tropical and sub-tropical climates, I became fascinated with painting water scenes and water lilies. The way the water lilies flower and float on the water’s surface, as if they were sleeping, and the way the giant cypress trees gently rise up from the swamps, produce a sense of peace and relaxation in me that I seek to inspire in my paintings.
With my decision to live in Colorado near the Rocky Mountains came an explosion of paintings of mountain scenes exalting the various moods of the high country. Spring flowers, golden aspens, snow capped mountains, and waterfalls captivated my senses. I was taken back to my earliest memories of the Italian Alps as I captured these images in my paintings. As I further explored the western states, I was stunned by the enormity and beauty of this nation’s canyons and extraordinary rock formations. I was compelled to paint the beauty and grandiosity of these natural places.
In some of my paintings I have attempted to capture the charm, serenity and exquisite architecture of what I consider to be the most captivating city in the world—Venice. The bridges, canals, cathedrals and piazzas of this city on water provide graceful subjects for my canvasses and represent a departure from painting purely natural settings.