Lemont Center for the Arts

To enrich the cultural landscape of Lemont by fostering the production and appreciation of the arts.

Maggie Capettini – Local Artist Feature

For the month of November, we feature local artist Maggie Capettini. Maggie works in oils and ventures out into nature year-round to paint en plein air.  Maggie’s paintings will be on exhibit at Lemont Center for the Arts November 1 – November 30, 2013.

Artist Statement:

Maggie Capettini

Maggie Capettini

I’m a naturalist. I love being outdoors: gardening, hiking, exploring with the kids. I make my own soap + my own cleaning products. This word, naturalist, which is part of my essential makeup, also strongly informs my painting oeuvre and choice of subject. I paint scenes of nature in oils. I am drawn to light, to color, to the challenge of creating a sense of time and place and space. Through my paintings, I seek to express a mood, to make the remarkable familiar, to make the unremarkable grand. Water and sky, as well as the relationship between the two, are of particular interest to me.

Red Impatiens, 8x8, oil on oil-primed linen panel ©Maggie Capettini

Red Impatiens, 8×8, oil on oil-primed linen panel ©Maggie Capettini

The technique of painting alla prima – completing a painting in one session – allows me to study the interplay between land, water, and sky.  Recently, I have been painting en plein air – taking my easel into the great outdoors – and using painting knives in addition to studio painting and brushwork.


Maggie Capettini paints in and around the Joliet, Illinois area. She earned her B.A. in Studio Art from Augustana College. She has studied under Clayton Beck III and James Swanson. Maggie’s most recent work includes plein air studies of local landscapes, as well as small studio studies of flowers.

Maggie is a member of the Lemont Artists’ Guild and is involved with the Art & Culture Commission of Lemont. Her paintings have been juried into a number of shows in Illinois, and they are held in private collections in Illinois and New Mexico. In 2013, Maggie received the Illinois Arts Council’s Individual Artist Grant for Professional Development.

Currently, Maggie teaches art at Montessori School of Lemont. She also is available for custom-designed workshops and classes at Lemont Center for the Arts. Starting in January, Maggie will be leading homeschool art classes at Lemont Center for the Arts. For more details, please contact Maggie or Lemont Center for the Arts.

Website, Contact Info:




Medium or Media:

Oil on canvas

Share your process and/or technique:

My most recent paintings are mostly one of two kinds: plein air landscapes or studio studies of flowers. The plein air experience appeals to me on so many levels: packing up my backpack of painting supplies, bringing along my tripod to mount my easel, hunting for the perfect spot to set up, and working within a fixed amount of time to try to capture a scene on canvas. I love using big bold colors, daring strokes, and having a strong connection to a place. On the other hand, working in the studio, I study closely the details of a flower: the values, hues and form that make the flower unique. It is intimate in a different way.

Late Summer Bales, 9x12, oil on cotton stretched canvas ©Maggie Capettini

Late Summer Bales, 9×12, oil on cotton stretched canvas ©Maggie Capettini

I use a limited palette with a warm and cool version of each primary color, along with white and orange. Working alla prima – finishing a painting in one sitting – allows me to build up thick layers of color and create an interplay between different passages.

What types of challenges do you seek in art making?

I seek to always grow as an artist. I challenge myself. For example, I recently painted a landscape with a structure in it to force myself to practice painting with believable perspective. I choose to work toward a goal with each painting. In “Lone Birch” (on display at LCA), I tried to create a sense of water surface and duckweed floating there, as well as the depth suggested by the dark water with reflected trees.

What inspires you?

I am most inspired by nature, my surroundings, and by all the rich color that is evident in so much of what surrounds us.

Where can one view your art in person?

Please be sure to visit Lemont Center for the Arts during the month of November to see a selection of my paintings. They also have their Holiday Artists’ Bazaar – there are so many great gifts for the holidays, all handmade by local artists.

Private showings are available by appointment.

Where/how can one purchase your art?

Paintings can be purchased with cash, check, or credit card/PayPal directly from the artist. Please contact me for more details.


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This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.