Rosario Ponte is profoundly influenced by the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts where she studied with the founder himself, Auseklis Ozols. The conviction in traditional aesthetic values, art as discipline and the search for perfection became engrained in her artistic moi. Works from this period are of the realism genre.
In EL Paso, Texas, Rosario comes into contact with the Russian painter Aleksander Titovets and begins to study under his tutelage. Rosario is immediately captivated by the relative freedom in the application of the paint in Russian Impressionism in contrast to the blending and smoothing of the paint in realism. Her work of this period is characterized by impasto with thick rich brushstrokes at times consisting of threads of many colors. Her subject matter, as diverse as before, includes portraits, still lifes, and landscapes but also borderscapes specifically.
Years later, in 2000, Rosario travels to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, enrolled in advanced studies. It is there where finally her creativity begins to be unleashed as traditional rules of painting and drawing are relaxed. Works from this period range from the subtle beauty of “Customs”, a woman in Japanese costume, to intense charcoals and grotesque human subjects in painting.
Upon her return to El Paso, Rosario returns solely to traditional painting with the exception of “Three Giant Quince”, a contemporary still life. But still, her desire for freedom in technique or for creativity continues latently.

In 2007, Marc Pachter, the director of the National Portrait Gallery, comes to give a lecture in El Paso at the Adair Margo Gallery where Rosario is exhibiting “Rostros Juveniles” or “Young Portaits”. Later, in Washington D.C. Marc Pachter gives Rosario a personal tour of the National Gallery. His words and choices of works lead Rosario to much contemplation. Interestingly, Pachter breaks her “mauvais élève souci” or her conservatism that would again not allow her to break traditional aesthetic rules.

Rosario returns to El Paso inspired and painting large faces and partial portraits. They are part of her contemporary period but the freedom and creativity is still restrained by tendencies of traditional dogma. Where will her art lead? It will be interesting to follow the unfolding of Rosario’s artistic evolution.

When Rosario assisted at the 10th Annual Portrait Conference in 2008, she met famous worldwide portrait painter Daniel Greene. He impressed her so much that he has been her mentor ever since.

R.B. 2008
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