Artist of the Month: Bill Graziano

Artist Bill Graziano

Graziano is trying to continue his artwork at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. This work in progress is called “The Artist.”

By Bill Graziano

After the Dunmore Senior Center had to close due to the pandemic, I found it necessary to seek other diversions to fill my time. It made me realize how much I missed the comaraderie of my fellow painters in Jill Swersie’s art class.

Having been a member of her class for over three years, its members have become like an extended family to me.

To fill the downtime, I began to work on overdue chores, such as downsizing basement storage. Upon completion of that task, I asked myself, “Now what can I do to fill the empty hours of confinement?” So, I decided to venture on a painting working from home.

I began by sketching my subject with chalk, then called upon my memory to aid me with all of Jill’s previous instructions. I have entitled it “The Artist,” and as you can see, it is still a work in progress.

The temporary closing of the Dunmore Senior Center has reminded me and fellow members how important its services are to the local seniors, and how it fulfills a void in our lives.

Hopefully, it will soon be able to open again!

Artist of the Month: Bill Graziano

Artist of the Month - Bill GrazianoBill Graziano is the December Artist of the Month at Dunmore Senior Center. Graziano decided to tackle his “bucket list” after retiring 10 years ago.

“Since oil painting was far down on the list, I didn’t get to it until several years ago,” Bill explains. “Dolly Michalczyk suggested the Dunmore Senior Center, known as HUB, to me. She told me just to bring a canvas and some brushes.” At that time, the paints were supplied.

“To my surprise, Dolly was absent upon my initial visit,” Bill remembers. “Still, I found everyone to be most welcoming and friendly. I was also happy to find other men in the class.”

Bill says the instructor, Jill Swersie, is “the BEST!” He says she is helpful and encouraging.

“Jill often tells us that if you don’t put paint on the canvas, we can’t correct it.,” Bill says. More experienced fellow students often offer helpful suggestions as well.

Recalling his first attempt, a Tuscan scene, Bill says, “My nickname for it is ‘beginner’s luck,’ as it actually turned out pleasing to the eye. Others that followed were not as lucky, but each painting became an exercise in painting techniques for me.”

Graziano has tried different styles and subjects while seeking his comfort zone—landscapes, nostalgic scenes, romantic, modern, and even abstract. He enjoys them all, but favors landscapes.

“But as far as completing a picture, I don’t think an artist ever thinks he is finally done,” he confesses.

His class has participated in art shows, both at the center and in the local community at First Friday events. At shows, he not only exhibits, but offers paintings for sale.

Bill still considers himself “an art student,” and does not plan to sign any of his paintings until he feels he has graduated to “artist.” He looks forward to continued growth.

Graziano says the HUB is a great community center, offering many different programs and opportunities for fun and new friendships.

“We are very lucky to have such a new and beautiful facility right here in Dunmore,” he says.