The Heroine’s Journey of Ilaria Rosselli Del Turco

What is the best thing that I love about my work? The calm meditative state in which the paintings are produced. Having a studio at home worked really well with having a family.

What is my idea of perfect happiness? In my studio, when a painting seems to have potential. Each painting needs to be at least a partial failure to be able to go on and “fail better” in Beckett’s words, but there’s a moment when hopes are high, there is total engagement, some accidental good strokes are happening. That is total bliss.

What is my greatest fear? My children are always the first concern.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? I don’t like how averse to risk taking I am, in art it is a bit of a hindrance.

Which living persons in my profession do i most admire? Antonio Lopez Garcia, both because I love his work and because he comes across as a generous and humble human being.

What is my greatest extravagance? I only paint on Claessens linen, with very high quality materials. I think painting is difficult enough without having to struggle with paints that underperform.

On what occasion would I lie? I say yes to too many people, and then I have to make up excuses because I’ve overextended myself.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? That I tend to identify myself with it, which makes me quite vulnerable. I try not to listen to excessively negative critiques, or put-downs or dismissals, but they some times they hit a weak spot.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work? The more I paint and learn about painting, the more it gets challenging and difficult. I wonder if I was more content when I was just starting this journey and somehow I thought I knew how to paint. Each new year carries with itself more knowledge and more self doubt.

If I could, what would I change about myself? I’d like to learn not to give a damn, and also let inaccuracies pass. Right now I can’t stand them.

What is my greatest achievement in work? Maybe teaching myself to paint. I have taken many courses but always studied part time and in fact I miss not having “the” tutor. In the end it was a matter of grit.

Where would I most like to live? I have been very happy in London for the past 18 years, but now with the current political situation I know that the move back to Italy is approaching quickly. There’s a lot of art in both places, luckily.

What is my most treasured possession? I managed to hold on to some favourite books from my childhood.

What is my most marked characteristic? I talk a lot and I love sharing information and networking.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city? The National Gallery, I visit very often. At times I forget how privileged I am that I can be in front of so many masterpieces in quarter of an hour.

What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? My kitchen. Cooking is very important for me, I cook for my family and I am proud that my children have a very developed palate to appreciate Italian food and are starting to cook too.

What books influenced my life and how? I read quite a lot of literary fiction; every book makes me a wiser human being. It’s so difficult to choose that I am going to say that a book that influenced my life in a very positive way is the Gokhale Method ( 8 Steps for a Pain-Free Back) as it really helped with my posture while I paint.

Who are my favorite writers? Currently Siri Hustvedt and Lalla Romano.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? Mozart and Bach’s Goldberg variations.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? I only had one, in childhood, and it was Jo from Little Women. I guess I always saw myself as a rather strong person.

Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime? I can’t choose between The Great Beauty by Paolo Sorrentino and The Leopard by Luchino Visconti. Italy how it is now and how it was then.

What role plays art in my life and work? It’s a daily constant in my life like food or sleep.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? My family has always been very supportive and many painters friends provide and exceptional feedback but ultimately painting is a solitary activity, the studio is the most lonely place.

Which people in my profession would I love to meet in 2017? I have a long list of Facebook friends that I’d like to meet in real life. I was never disappointed when I managed to get together with artists I knew online.

What project, in 2017, am I looking forward to work on? I have a desire to paint the figure again, after a few years when I concentrated on still life.

Where can you see me or my work in 2017? Various juried shows, and some pieces are in Elle Arte Gallery in Italy and Natsoulas Gallery in California.

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? It’s a statement that I agree with entirely. I am fifty now and in a way I just got started.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story? Roni Taharlev, Maureen Nathan, Gabrielle Roberts- Dalton

And finally my website is

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