Gallery Artists > Filastro (Fil) Mottola Biography :

Filastro (Fil) Mottola (1915 - 2008)  Artworks >>

Filastro (Fil) Mottola was born in 1915 in the Italian section of Orange, New Jersey. In 1921 the Mottola family moved to Los Angeles. The artist later made his home in Orange County, California, still painting when in his 90s. He is a "listed" artist and is included in Edan Hughes' Volume III of Artists in California, 1786-1940. In 1938, Mottola enrolled at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles. Within a few weeks his art samples got the attention of John Hubbard Rich, Donna Schuster, Paul Clemens, Ralph Holmes, and the Dean of Otis, Roscoe Shrader. Upon recommendation, Filastro was offered and accepted a full-time, one-year scholarship. The scholarship was extended for two additional years. Just prior to the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941, Mottola was drafted into the Army. His 164th Infantry Regiment was attached to the First Marines, which fought at Guadalcanal. Mottola created for himself many opportunities to sketch his Army experiences, including fellow soldiers and pilots engaged in battle at Guadalcanal. Because of wounds and malaria, Filastro got an early discharge from the Army in late 1943. After his recovery, Mottola returned to Otis to visit his former teachers, whom he now considered friends. Wanting to prepare Mottola for a teaching position at Otis, Roscoe Shrader offered him a lifetime scholarship painting from the model and an opportunity to take over Donna Schuster's Saturday class, who desired to leave her position. Anxious to make a livelihood as an independent artist, Filastro declined the offers. In 1949 Mottola went to work as a story sketch artist for the Disney Studios. In 1961 he made the decision to leave Disney and commit himself to a life of painting and selling his own art. During his long career, Filastro has worked in many mediums, including ink, pencil, charcoal, pastel, watercolor, and oil, believing that each one could offer something unique that would not be duplicated in another medium. Over the years he painted plein-air in many locations, such as Italy, France, small towns in Mexico, the Mother Lode country, the Southwest, the Northeast and the California coastal cities of San Francisco, Monterey, and Laguna Beach. Mottola's subject matter was diverse because he saw subjects to paint wherever people worked or played. His brushwork ranges from tight strokes, creating smooth surfaces to loose, free strokes, creating surfaces with full textures. Regardless of style, the use of rich, saturated colors is a hallmark of his oil painting. Filastro Mottola passed on March 24, 2008 in Laguna Niguel, California. Source

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