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The Arts in Folsom: Marco Ippaso; Driven to Create

In addition to creating original paintings in loose photo realistic style, artist Marco Ippaso also runs a design and marketing consultancy, produces commissioned art, and illustrates children’s books. A true petrolhead at heart, he adores all things automotive, as evidenced by the classic and vintage race cars that he commonly paints. What’s more, Ippaso often donates his art to local causes, including Gracias Jesus, which helps needy families in Nicaragua and Sacramento, and Wellness Oasis, which helps abused women. “Art and design is not a hobby or an interest—it’s more of a way of life,” says Ippaso. “I love to paint but really it’s the art of self-expression, creation, and problem-solving.” Although his works are featured worldwide, you can view them locally at Zia’s, Blue Line Arts, and Gold Country Artists’ Gallery.

HLB: How DID being born in Italy and living abroad shape your work?   

MI: I love Italy and have always felt Italian in my heart; though, in essence, having been raised in England, I’m as British as Earl Grey tea! This made for some momentous moments while watching international football games and profusely cheering every time Italy put one past the post amidst a nation of unhappy English groans. Italy gives me passion, my love of cars, appreciation for art and design, and a can-do attitude—all mixed with inimitable Italian style. England unquestionably provided me with perseverance, wit, a sense of getting on with things, and doing things properly without fuss. I love British graphic design and ingenuity.

HLB: Describe your artistic style.

MI: I paint predominantly using a layered pastel style with gouache and a little pencil detailing. The pastel is powdered and mixed with baby powder; each layer uses different colors and has a coating of workable fixative, which makes it partially transparent, providing depth and vibrancy. It’s a technique I was taught at the ArtCenter College of Design and is used by automotive and product designers. I’ve always loved the process, the messiness, and fantastic luminosity of it all.

HLB: How are art associations beneficial to both artists and the community? 

MI: Each organization promotes art throughout the community, which is something we all benefit from. The importance of art and design in our society seems, to me, to be grossly underappreciated, especially in Anglo-Saxon cultures.

HLB: Where do you go when you need inspiration? 

MI: I love traveling and miss Europe so often go back, but wherever I am, inspiration is all around. I’m a great observer of the unnoticed or taken for granted—the colors of a shadow, the way light is diffused on a foggy day, the way the ocean meets the sand. I love it when our human footprint combines with natural beauty to create something greater and even more beautiful than the original. Human ingenuity always impresses me.

by Heather L. Becker

Artist photos by Dante Fontana


August 4 – Dance Jubilee. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., El Dorado Dance Academy in El Dorado Hills is opening their doors to offer the community free dance classes. All ages and abilities are invited.