I’ve known Rob for over a decade. I have worked with him in several capacities.
As a father of my students, he always emphasized and prioritized the needs of his kids over his own preferences. He is a strong advocate for his children, and works hard to create the most successful learning environment for them.
As a friend, Rob has always been supportive of my own live and work. I know that I can call on him for help and good advice. He’s a good listener, and has a strong supportive shoulder to lean on.
As a musician, I have worked with Rob for many years as well. He is always professional, punctual, and generous. Not only does he follow direction extremely well, he also initiates ideas. He is a very talented musician.
Most importantly, in all aspects of our relationship, Rob is a gifted improviser. The ability to adjust and modify your ideas, plans, or direction is invaluable. Rob excels at this skill, in each of his roles. I’m grateful to have opportunities to work with him. I’m even more grateful to call him my friend.
- Director of Music
Great job to everyone!!
I loved the music and the words of Vincent Van Gogh!
Funny and oddly relatable…with a wonderful mixture of art forms. I loved it!
Very Nice! Incorporates all forms of art! Very Unique!
My wife and I rank your Vincent John Doe production, which we saw on Monday, among the shining lights of all events we have seen in a dozen years of Spoletto and Piccolo events! The acting space, the live music to accompany live performances, and your ability to create credible art work in the fly were elements that once again reinforce: there is NOTHING to compare to live theater. We are left to contemplate, did Vincent get it better this time on his return to his age – did he now have some experiences to aid him in combating the suicidal demons which overtook him in his first life? My wife and I like to believe that he did, and that he was able to live longer, create more, and even stumble on an artistic mentor/sponsor like the relationship between Degas and Gauguin. You are unique in that you have the artist’s hand and with prior experiences the playwright’s ability to pull this off.
It was a triumph of imagination and performance. Loved the creating of art and music live. This is true theater and creative fun.
We put our names in the drawing for one of the spontaneous pictures you created while performing, so who knows, maybe we will have even more to remember that production than the program and our vivid memories. Thanks from my wife Lezlie and I for the play and its marvelous performance. Your physical resemblance to the artist only made the play better! We have seen Van Gogh originals in museums including those at Amsterdam. My wife and I also have been to St. Remy in France where he went for some recuperation and I have marvelous shots of a work he painted at the sanatorium, next to a photo I made of those same trees and mountains today.
We will now have to see your gallery to see what you can produce when you have time to paint without the clock of dialog to work within. As I said when we briefly shook hands at the Monday performance, “What fun!”
I actually think this work would be excellent as a novel or on film. Fabulous concept!
And the actual paintings from the actor.
I connect so much to Robert, such a complex figure in such an experiential way.
The interaction in the play is very fresh. Really enjoy the moments of reflection while “Vincent” paints.
Script was engaging – Art and mental health really go together. Portraiture was inspiring.
And I mean that in the best of ways!
Actors were excellent. Pace was fantastic.
This play incorporates live music, film, and Van Gogh reproductions painted onstage. It’s an incredible story about the nature of art and its place in the world, all performed with a view of the Charleston Harbor.
Last night was off the chain!!! You nailed it, wow, thank you! My jaw is still on the ground. Just beautiful Rob!!! Enjoying all your reviews…truly heartwarming and dreamy…bringing dreams to life! A most perfect night for Piccolo Spoletto’s Vincent John Doe play Starring Rob Maniscalco as Vincent Van Gogh at the City Gallery with Karen and Jan! It was a fantastic play!!! Cheers!
Talented artist and actor – Good lines!
Very impressed!! Also, its fascinating to watch VJD paint in in real time.
Fantastic, interesting subject! 🙂
. . . of appreciating nature!
Very different and creative. Will spread the word.
Music so enhancing. Acting so well executed!
multi-dimensional nature of the play reinforces love facts. Listening the musical selections in the program would be a good idea. Perhaps just a bit shorter interludes with the voice over and briefer first scene and John Doe being taken from the streets. Some of the set could be set farther back upstage. Thank you so much!
Most amazing performance I have ever seen – so creative – watching the actor paint in the performance – the music – the quotes – all wonderful!!
I’ve never experienced anything like it! Painting and music during the play as part of the action was wonderful! Such talent is very impressive! It was a great interpretation and revival of Van Gogh and his art and philosophy! I admire his art and story as a fan. I loved the performance.
Wonderful! Great use of the gallery space. Loved the interaction with the audience. Well Done!
Enjoyed seeing three different types of works in progress at the same time. Play, music, visual art.
Kudos to All!!!!
A transplanted New Yorker, Thoroughly enjoyed the clever dialogue. Your daughter is lovely.Thanks for the great success. See you in Greenwich Village!
So poignant, beautifully written. Pleasantly, wonderfully surprised. Thank you robert!!
Insightful and thought provoking.
Amazing the bringing together of us all across time, culture and identity.
Impressive, Deep and Satisfying journey through colorful inner terrain.
Loved the cafeteria scene!
Everyone was fantastic!!
What marvelous layering of media and thoughts. Thoroughly enjoyed the thoughts, painting and acting. Thank you all.
Good mix of humor and drama. great idea to have Vincent’s thoughts in voice over, with live music, while painting.
Second time I’ve enjoyed your work as an actor on stage.
Amazingly creative! Loved the actors.
Can anyone resist Will Harvey? So many questions, so curious, so ready to become whatever he chooses.
I’ll stop here but I want you to know how very much I enjoyed your work and I’ll visit your site again for more of the same. R. Sue Dodea
The McDonnell girls have been captured in a split second since there is no time when they are still. The younger sister, pigtails flying, her little feet still baffled by the intricacies of walking, is nearly lost within her voluminous pink dress. She has no concern for such things, there is so much to see and do. Her older sister barely notices her, lost in her own play, her graceful arm extended as she reaches out for more, more, more of whatever this life may be. She is poised and ready, a thinker and a doer.
Next, young Carlton Campbell perched in the fork of a tree far older than he, possibly older than all of us. His face, his body, his clothing are all spotless with the inexperience of youth while the tree has been so frequently punished by nature as to seem a battered survivor, which is what we must all hope one day to be. The contrast of his perfect white little shoe that has taken so few steps with the ragged bark is a compelling image. From his expression, Master Campbell does not need to be rescued from the tree. He plans to climb many more, and bigger, and let nothing stop him in the ascent.
Tonight I was visiting M.L. Leiber’s website and he includes a link to your gallery. I thought I’d just stop by and take a glimpse. Hours later, it has been a great pleasure for me to view all of your portraits. The more of them I saw the more I could see the painter inside and outside which was a lot of fun. I don’t know how often someone tells you how much they like your work and mean they really looked at it. Add me to the list. There were several portraits that just enchanted me and make me want to show them to someone else and say “Look at this, look how he posed this, look at the light, the hand, the draping of cloth, the child’s doll — ” These are the portraits I’ll come back to see.
Thank you for the wonderful painting that graces our hearth. Roman Madgidenko
Thanks to Rob Maniscalco for sharing his artistic gift with us. We really love the portrait and can’t wait for friends and family to see it. We know that it will remain in our family forever. It captures the essence of Ryan and CJ at a very special time in their lives and we are so very pleased with the detail and quality of the portrait. Rob Maniscalco is truly gifted and we are thankful that he lent his talent and professionalism to us. Jeanette Franck
Kay’s beautiful portrait sure served a timely purpose! It’s presence at her funeral was really special. I cannot tell you how much it means to me to walk by it in our hallway several times a day. Loving regards, Bill Ward
Rob, a formal ‘thank you’ for the fine job you did on my portrait. It was quite obvious that there were many, many other issues going on in my life at the time. I didn’t fully appreciate the artistry of your efforts…not only in painting skills, but the ability to shed pounds as well! I have received numerous compliments. You know full well that it would not have come to fruition without the perseverance of E Ray and you. Robert O’Leary
Please forgive this somewhat impersonal method of communication but I wanted to contact you quickly. I am John Diebel’s brother and I just received your magnificent portrait of my son and me in our surgical attire. I was overcome by the fact that you captured so well the relationship. He was not only my son but also my colleague, confidant and best friend. We worked closely together in our medical practice for five years. I was truly blessed to have had this kind of a relationship with my son for the time that we had. Unfortunately, life takes some unexpected turns and his life was cut tragically short. Again, thank you so much for applying your gifts and talents to memorializing my son. Sincerely, N. Donald Diebel, Sr., MD
Every time I look at those portraits, I think of the genius you are. Peter and Elizabeth look just like they did then. The detail in Sarah’s is amazing. Beth Dixon
Russell and I would like to thank you for the portrait you did of me. I know that I will never have anything like it ever again. It’s very special to us and we so appreciate all of the hard works that you put into it. God Bless, Good Health, Jen Bartolotas
I am thrilled and delighted with the portraits of my grandchildren and so is everyone who sees them, especially the children. Thank you for a job well done. Mae Gallagher
Excerpts from the speech given at the official presentation of Professor Joseph Grano’s portrait to the Wayne State Law School in 2003: On behalf of my family I thank you all for coming to my father’s portrait unveiling. . . I want to acknowledge Robert Maniscalco for the fine work he did in painting my father’s portrait. Robert demonstrated such professionalism in this portrait. He captured the essence of dad without ever meeting him. He spent much time hearing stories, looking at pictures, and building the persona in his mind so that his portrait could radiate dad’s character. . . This portrait will enlighten students and faculty to how important teaching was to him. It will also acquaint new students with the kind of professors Wayne Law desires. . . Finally, let me offer these words. As a current prospective law student whose traveled to many schools, I have not paid close attention to the portraits in the school’s halls. However, after considering what my father’s portrait says about the professors of Wayne, I realize the men and women whose portraits are hanging on the walls of a school are as much a part of the law school as the ones in the class rooms. In the next few months, I will consider schools’ legacies by paying closer attention to the portraits in their halls. Daniel Grano
I took an oil painting course from Robert through his studio gallery. I probably learned more in six weeks than I did throughout 6 years of college when it came to painting technique. Robert was accessible, personable, patient, enthusiastic and communicated a great deal of information in an easy, fluid manner. He has an astute eye, a quick and engaging mind, and is well-educated in many aspects of the arts including theater, music, and writing. He is a Renaissance man without pretense and willingly shares his knowledge with ease and likable informality. I recommend him highly. Anne Garavaglia
Just need to let you know how much I enjoyed your introduction to me of the Reilly Method of Painting and your Power Palette approach to predetermining hues and values! Freedom is the result of this structure! As we paint and enter the flow of the visual communication between the artist and the model, having the power palette permits color selections and modification without gaps in the flow. The Creative Energy can stay higher! Thank you for keeping the Masters’ Secrets alive for a new generation of painters! — Cessily Thalacker, Artist and Teacher
Just wanted to thank you again for your artist talk last week at your gallery. Your generous lending of knowledge, expertise and forthright encouragement was a much appreciated and valuable to this learning artist. You are a very articulate communicator. Juribi Young
Thank you for such a wonderful workshop here on Salt Cay island. You are an inspiring teacher and will be a hard act to follow. All the best for your new gallery. We miss you…Candy Herwin
On behalf of Leadership Oakland, thank you for all your help in making this year’s Art & Entertainment Session so successful. The session was very highly rated with some great input and kudos as well. Your valuable insight and experience really impacted our participants and helped them understand issues facing businesses, organizations and our community. — Dawn D. Magrett, Exectuvie Director
During the two-hour drive home from the Raleigh workshop, I had time to review all of the valuable information you provided. I am anxious to put these new ideas to practical use in my studio. I know now that those first strong, decisive strokes I apply to canvas are the same ones I end up blending away. You will perch on my shoulder as I paint. I’ll hear you say, “Stop apologizing!” and “Lose some of those edges!” From now on, I’ll allow most of the mosaic brushstrokes to remain and carefully choose which strokes should blur into others. You confirmed the things I kinda/sorta already knew, but didn’t quite know what to do about them. This insight has given me more confidence. Of the many workshops I’ve attended, I have to say that yours is my favorite. — Donna Claybrook
Just wanted to let you know that your workshop has worked miracles for me!!!! I was still having a little trouble so I decided to watch your DVD! Wow! It’s like a Kleig Light went off in my head! Everything I ever learned anywhere suddenly made sense! Value is Key! (But you do choose warm and cool over hue! I’ve noticed!) I am no longer plagued by muddy color! I’ll send you a pic as proof once it dries a little more and I can add a few glazes to the background. You told me you would help me and you did! — Karen Silvestro
Just a note to thank you for sharing your incredible expertise and wisdom these past four weeks in our portrait painting class. As a portrait student, I’ve been refreshed and revived and inspired by your teaching. Your witty way not only makes receiving easy and fun but you are quite entertaining too! Thanks for yours and Cate’s sweet hospitality. I’d endorse you any day, Artistically yours, Mary Hoffman
Painting class was an eye opener today… I thought I was out of my league but with the right teacher anyone can be a beautiful creator. Thank you to my art instructor Rob Maniscalco! Alicia Mendoza Barrineau
The Paint with Wine party was wonderful for us, thank you for opening your home to us and letting us invade your life! Your patience, sense of humor and talent are abundant and for that, we are very grateful. We will pass along recommendations to all those we encounter, trusting in the knowledge your class kicks ass above and beyond those painting party factories!!! See you soon, Tracy
I have been to other BYOB Painting Parties before, but this was the best! It was an honor and privilege to be in the presence and being instructed by a true artist like Robert Maniscalco! Both he and his wife were so gracious and entertaining. I want to go and take private lessons with him in the future. Marian Mills
I am impressed by your book, Point of Art, and I have read, underlined and included your words in my art journal. So many times you condensed and verbalized my thoughts and feelings about art and the creative process. I even found the line on page 61, in “The Easy Way vs the Right Way,” to describe your workshop in Chapin. You gave us “the necessary information presented in a way we can understand and assimilate.” You presented in an extremely entertaining, fun, non-intimidating, and fact-filled manner. Your comments throughout the two day workshop were as important and informative as the more concrete methods you taught. Jean S. Kirkley.
I just wanted to let you know that I have already gotten so much out of our sessions. I see much improvement in my paintings and my drawings. I see more than I did before meeting with you. I realize I need to slow down (way down) and focus on every foundational element you have taught me one step at a time. Thank you so much for your time and accommodations, it is exactly what I need! I am a huge admirer of your work, especially “Quench.” I am excited to learn from you as an artist. I enjoy exploring your studio work as well as your website. Sarah Harris
We will tune in on The Today Show on Thursday and can not wait till the day. Wow! How exciting for you and my hope is that the world finds out about your wonderful gift. We treasure every one of our portraits and today it’s the one thing we would stand heartbroken if we had a fire. So David took out a new insurance plan to replace the one we had.
Michael absolutely LOVED the portrait! I am so relieved. I really was very nervous about giving it to him-I was afraid it was egotistical of me but he actually said “after years of asking you finally gave it to me!” ( I think I told you he had wanted professional photos, etc. and I never had them done). He told me today that he is “obsessed” with commissioned artwork now and says he eventually wants one of all three of us together. This could not have gone any better and I really appreciate so much everything you have done. The more I look at the portrait, the more I love it. You really did do an amazing job. THANK YOU!!!!
I hope this email finds you and your family doing well. I wanted to touch base with you in regards to the portrait you did for my wife and I of our two daughters back around 2003. I was excited to see it featured on your web site. Your portrait of our girls continues to be the focal point of our living room and both Jill and I enjoy it daily. Your skill and mastery went beyond capturing just their likeness by also capturing their respective personalities. The painting is truly a treasured item for us.
I love showing the portraits off. Everyone thinks they are amazing. It’s funny most people think that Bennett’s is right on and Audrey’s is
okay. But then there are others that think the exact opposite. Everyone has an opinion. All that matters is that I LOVE THEM, you have captured my babies on canvas and I am so grateful. They are framed and look great.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
We all LOVE the portrait. It will be our treasured family heirloom forever. Thank you!!!!!
The department just unveiled your portrait of our previous Chair, Jan Lage. WONDERFUL. I worked with her for almost 5 years and I think you caught more than just her appearance; you captured her personality. She was a super Chair for this department but a frank, kind, informal person. You got it. Thanks.
THEY LOVE THE PORTRAITS! Thank you so much. So much joy on their faces when they saw what a beautiful job you did!
I have experienced firsthand the wonderfully positive influence of having one of your portraits of myself influencing and inspiring my own dreams and self confidence. When I feel challenged, or worse, I look at that portrait and think, “she can do it! She can get through this, overcome this, win this battle.” Thank you, Robert Maniscalco for reminding me of who I really am. Jan Titsworth
Quench challenges the reader to experience a very unfamiliar and risky trip to Haiti to help with the water supply. The author provides us with visuals and thought provoking words in a way seldom seen. It was not an easy trip but on with immeasurable rewards. This book deserves the highest rating on any scale.
I recently had the opportunity to work with Robert from afar. He is in Charleston, I am in New Orleans. Over a period of several months we shared lots of photos and ideas for layout. Robert was a pleasure to work with and even more fun when Tish and I traveled to Charleston to view the finished product and make final touches. I have recommended Robert to other members of my bench.
I am so pleased with the improvement in my painting that was visible immediately as a result of your instruction. You do the critiques so candidly and without allowing personalities to effect your comments. I will certainly recommend you and your workshops whenever possible. — Brenda Delle
I absolutely got my money’s worth! Now I know I can paint a face & all the parts will be in the right place! Painting the P3 way is a lot of fun! — Caroline Goodman
Quench challenges the reader to experience a very unfamiliar and risky trip to Haiti, to help with the fresh water supply. The author provides us with visuals and thought provoking words in a way selfdom seen. It was not an easy trip, but one with immeasurable rewards. This book deserves the highest rating on any scale. — Diane Owensby
The P3 is packed with knowledge! There is no better starting point for realistic painting than Frank Reilly’s teachings, and Rob Maniscalco delivers this information in easily digestible prose, along with inspirational advice and technical know-how. — John Ennis, Portrait Artist, author of The Reilly Papers blog
This book presents an organized comprehensive overview of a broad variety of techniques and ideas which make up the systematic approach to representational painting developed by the late Frank Reilly. It serves as an excellent refresher course for those who have previously studied Reilly’s teachings in great depth, and it’s a good basic introduction for those artists who have not been so privileged. The underlying principles that informed Reilly’s teachings are clearly evident in the works of history’s greatest master painters. — Marvin Mattelson, Award winning portrait artist and educator
Thank you for sharing your incredible expertise and wisdom. As a portrait student, I’ve been refreshed and revived and inspired by your teaching. I’d endorse you any day! Artistically yours, — Mary Hoffman
Put Robert’s lifetime of study to work for you because the best way to learn is to learn what a master has discovered, so they can save you at least some of the headaches. You cannot avoid them all, but Robert deeply understands the how of teaching, and what you must go through to learn. The Power of Positive Painting focuses on the craft aspect of painting. Certainly, Robert’s artistry comes through but no attempt by him is made to sway the reader stylistically. His method is intended to equip you for any representational genre, style or subject. Robert explores that place between art and craft and science with courage and sensitivity. — Eric Rhoads, founder and publisher of Fine Art Connoisseur and Plein Air magazines.
Rob Maniscalco is a distinguished artist, writer, art teacher, playwright and actor. I applaud him for that. As you might expect, I am a tough critic. I think your book will be a success! The Power of Positive Painting gives many valuable insights. It’s been my pleasure and honor to be able to get this “sneak peak” of his wonderful book. Rob, your dad was a wonderful artist! I see you are as well. You have learned from the best! — Jack Faragasso, Frank Reilly authority, Professor Emeritus at the Arts Student’s League
IF I was an artist, especially a painter, I would insist this book goes into the curriculum in every art school in the country. Amazingly thorough, insightful, and full of views from 30,000 all the way down to the runway. — Doug Crowe
If you wish to paint portraits in oil, this book is invaluable. In fact, reading the clear instructions, solid color information, and step-by step exercises, I just might want to begin working in oils again. Never having had an oil painting teacher who offered more than, “not like THAT!,” with no value, hue and chroma charts, no clear practical exercises and few chances to simply play with the paint, without concern about making a failed painting, returning to oils again just might be fun! — Marilynn Bicsak Thomas
I really do appreciate you and what this instruction is doing to lift up my artwork to a higher level. As an artist, this has been a dream come true, to be able to understand light and shadows. You’re a very special teacher. I thank you. — Maureen Gonzalez
Robert Maniscalco is already well known as a portrait artist, a fine art gallery owner, an actor, a Detroit-area television host, a spokesman for the arts and a musician.
What more can this man do?
Apparently, he can write as well. And his writing is every bit as masterful as his paintings.
Maniscalco’s first novel, The Fishfly, is another masterpiece by a renaissance man who seems to be great at whatever he endeavors to accomplish.
At first glance, one might mistake The Fishfly for a tired mystery novel, but it’s not as predicable as you might think. And once you’ve spun wildly through the chapters, catching glimpses of the past, snipets of the present and maybe a look into the future out of the corner of your eye, you arrive at the end – breathless.
Anyone who has seen any of Maniscalco’s paintings knows that he captures the soul of his subjects with subtle strokes that appear simple yet look past the mere surface to the core of the person. In The Fishfly, he has captured his characters with the same simplicity. Words aren’t wasted, yet the characters come to life with an eeire intensity. If you don’t know these characters when you first settle in with the novel, you can see, smell, taste, touch and hear them by the end.
The book races, sometimes at Warp Speed, through the universe of Don Spinelli – a portrait artist who is struggling to free himself from the demons of his past and ready to take action. He takes you along for the ride, sometimes pulling you around corners or through rooms you just might not want to be in. But that’s part of the beauty of the book. You see and hear everything Spinelli is seeing and hearing and thinking. Quirkly, random, wild thoughts splat in your face from these pages…the same kinds of thoughts that race through all our minds, making us question our sanity. Captured on the pages of The Fishfly, they not only create a more vivid picture, but also assure us that, maybe we’re not as crazy as we might have thought.
The semi-autobiographical book of the artist as a middle aged man is an adventure you’ll not soon forget. — Vicki Barnes Amazon Customer
Ever been a victim? Of course you have. Of a schoolyard bully. A teacher seeking to set an example. A lousy boss who makes subordinates pay for his or her dumb ideas. A robber. A cheat. A petty thief. We’ve all been victims. It’s life. In the United States, our inalienable rights include the pursuit of happiness, not happiness itself. That’s for us as individuals to achieve or fail. The great majority of us get over being a victim. Meaningful people are repulsed by the prospect of joining the whiny ranks of perpetual victim-hood, whose members indenture themselves to the more accomplished and powerful, real or imagined. But what if? — Brad Lindburg Read the Full article
Your eye for seeing this child was right on. He is an extremely intelligent young man. He is a builder, wants to be an engineer. He builds cities in his house with train sets, building blocks of all kinds.
I really do appreciate you and what this instruction is doing to lift up my artwork to a higher level. As an artist, this has been a dream come true, to be able to understand light and shadows. You’re a very special teacher. I thank you. — Marueen Gonsalez
Great studio for all levels of emerging artist! Challenging yet rewarding classes. Group or private available. Robert teaches tricks of the masters in a way that gets results. The studio is on the marsh, so plain air is available. All ages and levels are welcome Oil is the medium of choice but acrylic are welcome:) Commissioned Oil portraits, pets, and fine art available. — C.A. Yelp Customer review
I’ve learned so much from Robert in the classes I’ve had with him. It’s been a great opportunity, learning from someone who reads his students well – someone who has taken the time to listen to specific concerns and then has systematically taken the time in class to address them. Through his classes I feel that I’ve reached a breakthrough and have moved into bolder, more deliberate brushstrokes, in addition to utilizing a much better, more well-prepared palette. Friends and family are commenting on how these lessons have so enormously improved my painting. Of course, I’m really looking forward to future classes. Who wouldn’t be, after experiencing such great results! — Jane S Yelp Customer review
This was one of the best adventures we’ve had while on our “girls” beach trip!! Though Robert typically does classes for six, he made an exception and did a class for all eight ladies. We had an absolute blast! Initially, a couple in our group were apprehensive about “painting”… …not anymore! This event has already been requested for next summer’s Folly trip!! Everyone LOVED their finished product. This is a MUST DO adventure! We really loved that this was tailored to OUR group and that we were not just “a part” of a large class of 30 people! HIGHLY recommend!! Reba L. Yelp Customer review
Just like art, we view certain things differently. How you see it, or how I see it, may be totally different. I will give you a perfect example of what I mean, and it has nothing to do with politics. When I was in 8th grade we spent a semester of poetry. We each had to stand up and give our interpretation of a certain poem. From my reading I got hope and beauty….yea right! Teacher said it is about death. I asked, “did the author say it was about death?” “NO, he is dead.” I said “then we really do not know what he was trying to convey. I saw beauty, you see death.” Was he wrong, was I wrong? I got a D-. Next year I was published in Poetry, and became a member of the debate team.
I have seen your work and your father’s, to me not only beautiful, but interesting, it conveys one message to me that might be totally different for the next person. I loved you coming to do a presentation of your work, when I was President of the Artist Guild, you give a wonderful program, interesting, talented, and nothing run of the mill. — Debra McKinley
The DVD on the Power of Positive Painting is one of the best DVD’s I have ever seen. It taught me so much and I felt like I was actually a student in your class. I learned so very much and I don’t ever know how to thank you for all you taught me. To me it was a true gift. Someday when I get better. I hope to be able to afford to take your mentoring program. I know it would be the best thing I could ever do for myself. I could not fail with you in my corner. I just need some more time to learn more and reach the level I need to – Sylvia
Growing up, I never thought I could be much of a painter. I am now interested in giving it a try, and bought this book (in person) to help me. What a great decision!! This book gives anyone, regardless of experience, great help in creating an interesting painting! From the basics of sketching, proportion, and subject, to color and lighting, plus more. Great photo examples along with text are extremely helpful! I The author shares so much with the reader…I can’t recommend this enough! Sue Jaissle Williams
I’ve been painting a little here and there over the years, but have gotten good feedback from teachers. Expect that after retirement, I can devote more time. This book is just what I needed to inspire me. Rob has a way with explaining how to paint portraits, something I find the most challenging. There are many examples of how to do it at each stage that really helps to envision what you’re trying to do before you do it. This gives me confidence that I can do it too.— Believer (from Amazon)
Just a thankful “Thank you.” I have my grandson’s portrait on my table inside my foyer of my home. I love this little guy more. It will be hard for me to send it to my daughter now, lol. Thank you Robert! My heart is truly full! I shall remember you as a “knight in shining armor!” The way you paint reminds me of that era, for some reason. Your talent is truly amazing. — Maureen Gonzalez
I feel honored to know Robert Maniscalco, the master artist featured in this very recent television interview. We met and became friends through our common interest in the federal capital trial of Dylann Roof. I was researching a book and Maniscalco had been commissioned by media for visual depictions of the defendant and courtroom scenes during that trial in which photos and video of the proceedings were forbidden. Watching this interview with Maniscalco will also enable you to view some of his most consequential works of art. Bravo, Rob.* Your approach to the creation of art is as impressive as the incredible works you produce. — David Gillespie
Oh MYYYYY, you’re making me fall in love all over again! That’s fantastic brutha! (tear in my eye). Luv U. It’s gorgeous!!! You’re the best! Absolutely wonderful!
Looking forward to receipt of the masterpiece and displaying for all to see. Such a fantastic happy loving portrait Robbie, very happy indeed. Thanks again for the the love you put into it 🙂 will be a joy for years/decades to come. Jason Wilkinson
I am very pleased with all that I am learning in private instruction and I am about half way through the book. As you warn against in your book, the more I paint, the more I find myself not looking at the photo as much as the painting. The book is a great compliment to your lessons as well as a great reference. In my opinion the book is very helpful. It explains exactly what you teach, i.e., envelope, blind and modified, couture drawing, color components, etc. Teaching along with the book is very helpful. They reinforce one another. — Angie Pierce
A great introduction to drawing and painting. Robert’s “No experience required” approach means a student can learn step by step without fear of getting lost or overwhelmed. — Robert Schefman, Professor of Fine Art, College for Creative Studies, Detroit
The P3 is packed with knowledge! There is no better starting point for realistic painting than Frank Reilly’s teachings, and Maniscalco delivers this information in easily digestible prose, along with inspirational advice and technical know-how. — John Ennis, Portrait Artist, author of The Reilly Papers blog
Your instruction is sound and you are so good at articulating what you are trying to explain. This book has reminded me of all of the good things people said to me in the past, as well as some things I need to hear today like, “don’t apologize!” — Cessily Thalacker, Artist/teacher
Rob Maniscalco is a distinguished artist, writer, art teacher, playwright and actor. I applaud him for that. As you might expect, I am a tough critic. I think your book will be a success! The Power of Positive Painting gives the reader many valuable insights. — Jack Faragasso, Author of The Student’s Guide to Painting,
I never thought I could be much of a painter but now I’m interested in giving it a try. I bought this book to help me. What a great decision! It gives anyone, regardless of experience, great help in creating an interesting painting, from the basics of sketching, proportion, to color and lighting, plus more. I can’t recommend it enough! — Sue Jaissle Williams
Just need to let you know how much I enjoyed your introduction to me of the Reilly Method of Paining and your Power Palette approach to predetermining hues and values! Freedom is the result of this structure! As we paint and enter the flow of the visual communication between the artist and the model, having the power palette permits color selections and modification without gaps in the flow. The Creative Energy can stay higher! Thank you for keeping the Masters’ Secrets alive for a new generation of painters! — Cessily Minda, Artist and Teacher
I am so pleased with the improvement in my painting that was visible immediately as a result of Robert’s instructional painting video. You do the critiques so candidly and without allowing personalities to effect your comments. I will certainly recommend you and your workshops whenever possible. — Brenda Delle
Well you are not only a very gifted painter, but an effective inspirational teacher. Your instruction is sound and you are very good at articulating what you are trying to explain. Well I’ve been under your influence all day as I started my judge painting. From a practical aspect, I am developing a new approach as I am a 60% acrylic painter, a 37% watercolor painter and a 3% oil painter. I also have years of doing things my way and they are habits, not necessarily all good ones either, however they have served me over the years. Well, let me wrap this up by saying that I really think you are the real deal, and I’ve enjoyed your instruction. Years of theater has set you up for making a cool video and it’s great that you combine all of those skills at once. – Betsy Wilson-Mahoney
Put Robert’s lifetime of study to work for you because the best way to learn is to learn what a master has discovered, so they can save you at least some of the headaches. You cannot avoid them all, but Robert deeply understands the how of teaching, and what you must go through to learn. The Power of Positive Painting focuses on the craft aspect of painting. Robert explores that place between art and craft and science with courage and sensitivity. —Eric Rhoads, founder and publisher of Fine Art Connoisseur and Plein Air magazines.
This The Power of Positive Painting presents an organized comprehensive overview of a broad variety of techniques and ideas which make up the systematic approach to representational painting developed by the late Frank Reilly. It serves as an excellent refresher course for those who have previously studied Reilly’s teachings in great depth, and it’s a good basic introduction for those artists who have not been so privileged. The underlying principles that informed Reilly’s teachings are clearly evident in the works of history’s greatest master painters. — Marvin Mattelson, award winning portrait artist and educator
Being unemployed due to Corona virus I decided to take up a new hobby and try painting. I bought the necessary supplies, sketched out several ideas, plotted my canvas…and froze, afraid to place the paint on the canvas for months. This week I read The Power of Positive Painting and very early on Rob eased my fears with his good humored and memorable approach to sharing a lifetime of knowledge. I recommend this book highly for anyone interested in painting, either as a new hobby, or for more experienced painters ready to garner great tips from a Master Artist. Thank you Rob for showing me a new way to see.— Dawn Campion
Review of “Procession” and Robert’s solo show “Quench” at the Grosse Pointe Art Center (1-13-22 to 3-26-22) (GP War Memorial, 32 Lakeshore Blvd), by Donald Cronkhite
As an artist, Rob’s work is deep and compelling. Not only does decades of dedication and practice show up in his work, but the influence of his father, also a nationally known artist, is visible in his work. His multi-talents in various avenues add to everything he creates. Each work of art, writing, or performance is informed by dimensions of expression and sensitivity. His work is certainly to increase in value with the years simply due to his renown for contributing to many cultural activities. From serving as artist in residence to author, to artist, and teacher. This piece in particular shows the depth and the thought-provoking elements of each piece. This well-worn watcher of the sea so speaks to me of life’s journey.
Light by Robert Maniscalco
I find this painting particularly amazing as well as scary. The earth, our home, a delicate blue ball, adrift in a universe full of stars, surrounded by, unfortunately, people with bad intentions or selfish needs, who have no idea of its frailty and impermanence. One stupid lighted match, or many, just might end our sojourn here. I don’t feel this fragility all the time, but this painting brings it home, all too seriously. The depiction of the Earth and our galaxy is masterful.
I really like this painting. I can’t think of fancy words to describe why. I like the face. I like the casual way the hair is painted and the naturalness of the face. I like the way the woman is placed on one side of the canvas. The placement is simple but unique. I feel like it was painted in a calm mood and it makes me feel calm.
I met Robert back in 1998 at one of his exhibitions at the Maniscalco Gallery. Robert was already a very talented painter, but it’s truly incredible to see the evolution and range of his work over the years. I think 2022 will be the year that I finally commission Robert to paint my portrait, one in a good old fashioned regal southern style! I have the perfect spot for it in my den! C. Aldo
I went to see Rob Maniscalco’s exhibition at the War Memorial in Grosse Pointe. Walking through the gallery, I noticed his paintings are varied in subject, style and color palette. As I stood in front of each individual painting, they drew me in. I was immersed in each as an individual experience. As an artist, I noticed every single brushstroke in full vibrant color and texture, but they come together to create a realistic style. Each painting has its own personality, whether it’s a landscape or portrait, and you want to explore it more. His brushstrokes are meticulously placed without hesitation, a trait of a confident painter – a true master, which Rob is. His show stayed with me, long after leaving it, because his paintings made a real connection. – Frits Hoendervanger
I met Rob Maniscalco in 2004, when he hosted Art Beat Detroit, a local weekly PBS series that was broadcast on WTVS Public Television. In 36 episodes that ran from 2003 to 2005, Rob introduced and profiled Detroit-based artists in their studios. I was one of his interviewees in 2004, when I had a studio in the 4731 Gallery building northwest of downtown.
As an art show host, his manner seemed a bit odd to me, kind of offbeat, like a showman’s. It was the very opposite of what I had expected given my early exposure to PBS artists Bill Alexander (The Magic of Oil Painting, 1974-1982) and Bob Ross (The Joy of Painting, 1983-1994). While I never really was impressed by their work, they did define for me the manner in which I thought TV artists should conduct themselves. Not Rob. As with his art, Rob had his own approach.
I did know that Rob was a practicing artist but was unaware that he also had had formal training as an actor, director and playwright. Looking back, I would say that that served him well as an entertainment host for a TV show about artists, each of whom had their own quirks and uniquenesses. As I learned more about him, in particular about Rob the artist, my first impression faded…not entirely; His wit, puns and penchant for surprise continue to amuse, for I, too, have acting, writing and directing within my artistic repertoire.
What I discovered about Rob is that before much formal training, his father, portrait artist Joseph Maniscalco, provided formable lessons in their unique style of painting. Joseph was schooled in the (Frank) Reilly Method, which emphasized a value-based palette. His ability to render also was steeped in the traditions of Rembrandt, Velazquez, Hals and Sargent. So, it is not surprising that color or hue is inherent in the signature Rob Maniscalco style today. When you look at a Maniscalco painting, father’s or son’s, the influences are apparent in how light and form are used to create mood or in revealing a subject’s character. Another inherent aspect of a Maniscalco portrait or in other work even of animals is the detail within the subject’s eyes, a reveal of the soul it is often said.
Rob, the actor/painter describes himself as an Expressive Realist, no doubt drawing (pun intended) from both art and theatre backgrounds. Every artist is categorized one way or another, so I guess his descriptor is as fitting as any other. Simply put, in all genres of landscape, figure, and still-life, I would summarize Rob’s work as a blend of amorphous, colorful backgrounds with distinctly rendered subjects and foregrounds: simultaneously expressive and realistic, with an employ of strong side-lighting to define and render shapes. He is not timid when it comes to laying on the paint evidencing his mastery of brushstroke and use of impasto.
I believe that artists must be willing to leave what they know and attempt to push forward, to explore and extend their knowledge yet not having to surrender what they’ve accomplished or achieved. While doing what he knows best – portraits – Rob is unafraid to step out from what he excels at, to express in paint in multiple ways. Even in his quasi-Daliesque/surreal works or pure abstractions, the Expressive/Realist will tell a story, or present his point of view, or manifest an emotion based in the Maniscalco tradition.
The 32 pieces in his exhibition, “Quench,” on view through March 26, at the Grosse Pointe (Mich.) Artists Association, retrospectively demonstrate his lingering thirst to make and teach art. Yes, Rob also is an instructor, passing along his knowledge as a painter and artist and TV host. His exhibition features recent works as well as some of his favorite landscapes, still lifes and portraitures. In each, the Maniscalco signature of hue, light and form is amply revealed.
Detroit. Mich. 48207
Here’s a short video created in 2014 by my friend, Victor Pytko. “The last Artist” is a witty, sharp critique of our society’s throw away culture. We no longer seem to value original artwork. Our image driven, selfie obsessed society cares little for the original work of the creative, postulating that we have so many images we no longer need artists to create more, something myself and other creatives have been railing about for years. This satirical account of the last artist bites hard into the superficiality of our culture, imagining a world without artists. Why own an original with so many ways to experience (steal) the image? Because one is real, the other is imitation.
Thanks Rob! Since I live with original art I know the deep value of seeing the brush strokes of an artist’s joy in creating something that lives beyond its subject matter. It is the joy of an artists showing you something beyond mere image but the life within the subject. Take time with art to BE with it and feel the presence of real life! Cessily Wotring Thalacker
Hello! Thanks for the email! I really enjoyed your Portrait Demo of Larry at the Goose Creek Art League. I’d love to take one of your classes one day! I couldn’t believe how fast you did that. Thank you for your comments on my 2 paintings at the G.C.A. L. Art Exhibit hanging in the Activities Center now. And thanks for the 1st place in Oils for the attached photo. Your comment on my beach scene was right on regarding my lack of detail (modeling I think was the word you used). I did buy your P3 book the evening of your demo and I’ve started reading it. Hoping to have some more time to delve into it more when I’m on vacation in May. Sharon Mills
Hello, Robert. I went by the War Memorial today to look at your show. Really liked the portrait of Evan, but also the one about what happens to “the cute little kid that grows up” and the really lovely one about the child with her father. Frederic Sibley
Hey there Robert! This is Holly, the redhead from the Unitarian Church in Myrtle Beach. It was SO nice getting to meet you and your lovely wife today! You’re words really spoke to me on a personal level, the endless possibilities of dreams.
In Wicca, we believe in Astral Projection, aka Out of Body Experiences. And along that line of thinking, when the body separates from its “id” so to speak, it enters a place known as the Astral Plain. Then one would theoretically be drawn to the conclusion of meeting a passed loved one on the Astral Plain. You’re not physically meeting with them, but your souls are able to be together again for how ever long.
Maybe its the only time a certain part of the brain becomes active when we truly sleep. And some people’s minds are more concerned with themselves and their own struggles in the here and now, so their dreams reflect that. However I think your mind can be in that special place, when we sleep, its like the deepest meditation the mind can be in, where you’re able to blur the veil between everything. From our alternate selves, to defying physics, to yes, speaking with someone who’s passed. I don’t mean in like a Ouija board, but you’re mind being able to be at its most open and able to receive the most information from all types of origins and sources.
I hope you enjoy reading this, I could go on for hours and hours with all sorts of ideas and connections and theories I have. In the meanwhile, here are the links to your presentation that I streamed earlier. Thank you so much!
Hello, Robert. I went by the War Memorial today to look at your show. Really liked the portrait of Evan, but also the one about what happens to “the cute little kid that grows up” and the really lovely one about the child with her father. Frederic Sibley
Rob, I saw your show at the War Memorial with a friend, and we very much enjoyed it. What struck me, as it usually does with your work, is its virtuosity. You can do anything! And do it well, to boot. My favorite was a certain still life with cut flowers, but I really liked all of it, especially the different techniques used to apply color and achieve remarkable effects with it.
Hi Rob, I enjoyed your class and am so proud of how your techniques helped me paint such a good portrait! Thank you again for being such an amazing teacher and helping me to want to become a more skilled painter. Take care. Gale (Canton VAF P3 workshop 2022)
What would happen if Vincent Van Gogh showed up in New York City today? That’s the pretext for the play “Vincent John Doe,” which just completed a three-day Piccolo Spoleto Festival run at the City Gallery.
Charleston painter and actor Robert Maniscalco plays Van Gogh Vincent John Doe) in the Big Apple. His character is arrested and assumed to be mentally ill. He meets with therapists and fellow patients who challenge the definition of “the crazy artist.”
After escaping the hospital, he exploits the contemporary commercial art market by painting — Maniscalco creates two works during the show, accompanied by music (Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata) performed by his brother James Maniscalco.
“Where is home?” Vincent John Doe is asking.
Blurring the boundaries of theater, music and visual art, the play, written by Robert Maniscalco, transforms abstract philosophical ideas into a visual experience that explores artistic temperament and commercialization.
Reviewer Chunzi Shi is a Goldring Arts Journalist at Syracuse University.
Thank you again for the wonderful job on the portrait. The Archbishop is very pleased with the work and many people really like it. It is already hanging up in the board room and looks great! Fr. Craig Giera