Artist of the Week: Onelio Marrero, Everyday Masterpieces

Onelio Marrero in his studio

Onelio Marrero in his studio

Onelio Marrero turns everyday moments into impressionist masterpieces.

The dexterous brushstrokes and warm color palette of his impressionist style draws his viewers in. Then, a facial expression, a hand gesture, or a city surroundings, will unfold with Onelio's signature storytelling impact. With his clever narratives and attention to fine details, he surprises viewers with new depths and meanings. 

He is inspired by the artists like Vermeer and John Singer Sargent. His work resembles their constructions of, as Onelio puts it, "simple yet striking scenes of limited numbers of figures in seemingly uncomplicated settings." His paintings express the excitement in passing moments.   

“As far as the subjects go, I try to paint those things that strike me. That is one of the reasons my subject matter has a wide range. My choice of subjects doesn't reflect a homogeneous outlook. Consequently, defining my own personal style and subject eludes me,” says Onelio.

The subjects in his portfolio range from character portraits (a waiter setting a table, a woman reading a letter), to anonymous figures (masked welders, smoke obscured cooks), to landscapes (snowy forests, koi ponds). However, despite this breadth, each painting tells its own story to tell.

In Bed and Breakfast, his new oil painting, Onelio offers an aria in paint to his wife’s beauty. He found his inspiration on a weekend trip to a bed and breakfast. Onelio, who is naturally an early riser, admired his wife’s beauty as she slept. Taken by the image, he returned to his studio to create an intaglio of the scene that would evolve into his painting.  

Intaglio of  Bed and Breakfast

Intaglio of Bed and Breakfast

Onelio has a richness of experience that reflects in the variety of his art. His job history includes delivery boy at a kosher butcher, a stadium grounds assistant, and a contractor’s assistance, and foundry worker. He spent 36 years working as an art teacher – a job which freed summers for even more experiences such as carpentry and framing. The richness of his experience reflects in the variety of his art.

“Those experiences were instrumental in giving me an appreciation for a variety of vocations as well as an appreciation for craftsmanship,” says Onelio.