Nicoletta Ceccoli has been one of my favorite Italian painters and illustrators since I first saw her work at the Bologna Children's Book Fair (her art has been selected seven times for the annual exhibit). Ceccoli is actually from San Marino, a small enclave on Italy's Appennini mountains which happens to be the world's tiniest republic and oldest sovereign state. Most of her mysteriously surreal images depict variations on a recurring theme of beautiful, melancholy and ethereal child-girls accompanied by or metamorphosing into various animals and fairy tale creatures.
In an interview on Arrested Motion, Nicoletta cites influences from artists like Remedios Varo, Domenico Gnoli, Paolo Uccello, Stasys Eidrigevicius, Mark Ryden, Edward Gorey, Winsor McKay and Ray Caesar among others. She also mentions being at work on a book about mythological creatures, which I imagine is going to be awesome. Especially after having seen the following works, recently shown at Roq la Rue gallery in Seattle, featuring complex and dynamic compositions and a brighter, vibrant pastel color palette...