A rose that will never wilt or need to be watered.
O! be some other name:
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet:
William Shakespeare “Romeo & Juliet”
A rose is a rose by any other name!
There are those who only feel the thorns and not the beauty of a rose.
A rose reminds me of this and reminds me to keep a positive attitude.
To me the rose is a symbol of life, life that can be only as good as I make it.
Whenever I paint flowers, the magic of nature springs forth; comes to mind.
Roses last but a short while; to fade, fall, to die, too bloom again in the coming spring.
Existence, life, the mystery surrounds us all; look, take time and smell the roses!
There’s a mystery to be revealed within the rose:
Revealed for those who grow, flower and blossom, like the rose.
Book of Secrets
This painting is a visual of my quest.
Magic is like faith, it has no logic it just works, but you must have the key to unlock the secrets.
That key is BELIEF, seeing is believing but believing is SEEING!
My experience with this has enhanced my faith in it.
I believe in me there resides a little old sage who has all the answers I want.
But sometimes the answer is “Nick, you will not understand it now”.
I found the secret of life is I cannot tell you; you must experience for yourself.
Through the years I have chased wisdom like a butterfly.
I must be quiet and still, for it come.
My ego seems to get in my way, I cannot turn it off, it’s in me. What I can do is practice humility.
I learned to ride a bike, certain things must be practiced, or I will never completely conquer them.
In the painting I put him in the woods, I believe nature has all the answers if I just be still and observe.
So much of what we look for are in plain sight.
But we go through life at 75 mph and miss many, many things.
One day I was riding with my friend.
I asked him “how many signs have we passed in the last 2 minutes?” He said, “I don’t know.”
We’re so busy, always in a hurry, we don’t see or pay attention to the signs right in front of us.
When I paint, I’m by myself, inside my head. It’s like therapy.
I see in paint what is going on in my life.
But I must be observant to see it.
And where it must be changed, I must believe I can.
I would much rather have wisdom than loads of money!
My grandmother would say, “Nico hurry, slowly”.
Bronx Greens Stand
Painting this NYC series is bringing back a flood of memories mostly great ones!
When I was a kid, we often walked to my grandmother’s house on 221st from Gun Hill Road.
It was about 20 short blocks under the EL.
The Bronx had a different type than Manhattan.
When walking under the EL as the train passed the noise was deafening the energy was overwhelming.
Like I had said the energy was pulsating thru the sidewalk.
I was walking with my mom and brother Vinny from the time I was a few months old to 7 or 8 years old.
And the guy’s “vendors” would give me string beans and all sorts of fruit.
Everything was magic.
The street was alive with all sorts of people going here and there, car horns, bus, and truck fumes.
It all fit together like a grand symphony!
If we were lucky my mom would take us in the five and dime store for a small toy.
We never had much money and how my mom did it all was a miracle!
My father was spending large amounts playing the numbers.
He hit quite often but put it right back into gambling?
My poor mom had a rough life in Connecticut where my grandparents settled.
She was made fun of Italian was all that was spoken at home, so she had to learn English in school.
Bronx Greens Stand
The “NYC Energy” series is painted very loose and free.
I love the feeling when I paint this way.
My hope is to transfer my feeling of energy into the art.
It’s strange this getting old thing. Watching and feeling my body starting to shut down.
But as my body weakens my spirit seems to gain strength.
This was taken in my studio.
You can see photos on the wall of images I work from for some of my paintings.
Flowers For Gaza
I feel so helpless watching all the pain and madness that permeates the news.
When I did this painting, I felt it was alI I could do to document what went on there.
My flowers are the painting. I felt her sadness so deeply. It seems the world is going completely mad!
Yet there are many beautiful things that go on each day that are never in the news.
It is said, if you want to change the world change yourself.
My paintings try to tell a story, to show feelings.
I do many different types of paintings, some are pretty, some show friends others all aspects of life.
The paintings done from a place deep within me are some of my best works.
I’m told my work brings a sense of joy and happiness despite the subject.
I do a fairy tale series that takes me back to my childhood, when my mother would read to me.
The world was so simple then. I remember when she did housework, no matter how tired, she’d sing.
Now that I’ve come to the Autumn of my life, things are quite different.
I seem to want to paint 24 hours a day. But I must find balance, too much of anything is not good.
I never run out of things to paint, many ideas go thru my head, but I only pick the ones that stand out.
I’m learning what is important.
It seems things that once were so important don’t seem to matter anymore.
When I was about 20, I cut off an old guy who was trying to get to an open parking space.
He looked at me and said, “youth is wasted on the young.”
The funny thing is many years later a young kid cut me off to get to a parking space.
He looked at me and I just laughed. You’re a crazy old man he said, I said yep!
There is a small voice within me that directs me.
When I follow that voice, all is well.
When I don’t, look out!
I Miss You Neil
I have four younger brothers.
Some years ago, my brother Neil died of cancer.
I felt a deep sorrow.
I handle grief by painting. When Neil died, I felt so helpless.
He was my younger brother who I always protected, yet there was nothing I could do.
I remember my gram saying “Nicko, death is for the living”, I now understand this.
From my own death experience, it was shown to me, we all come here to learn and help.
And when we are done that is when we leave, still the human part of me feels sorrow.
So, when Neil passed, I grabbed a canvas and started to paint.
This was the first painting of Neils passing and the best. I did several more and felt better each time.
Painting is how I grieve. Painting is how I perceive life.
I paint when I’m happy and when I’m sad.
I do not just want to paint pretty pictures.
Picasso said, “anyone can paint pretty paintings, great artists paint great Ideas.”
I say “I paint feelings.”
Like Picasso I want my work to make people feel it.
My best paintings are the ones that happen right when I feel what’s going on.
I miss you Neil…
Magic Kitchen #32
This is one of the kitchen series that I semi-abstracted.
Putting a landscape on a shelf and a door on the flower vase.
With sunflowers in the center of the painting.
I’ve worked with Children, especially troubled children.
I’d explain, when you do art, it is your world.
You can put anything in your world you want; it’s your world.
Children are taught to conform to rules.
We must also teach them to use their imagination.
I want to let them know “this is your world”. The art, you create is your vision.
If you want to make hamburgers purple, blue or any color, you can!
It is the one place you’re allowed to create anything what you want.
No one can say to you are wrong.
There is a freedom that comes with drawing, painting, or any art.
My cousin Joe says, “Art is the vision of seeing the invisible ”
It is an inner world of your soul!
New York Abstract
“New York Abstract” as a painting I completed while I still living in NY.
I had not been painting for more than 2 years.
Abstracts are not as easy as people would think, and this one just came to me.
When I paint abstracts, they come from a place deep within me.
A place of pure feeling and creativity.
All paintings I do have a feeling and a message. Some more so than others.
Like I have said before many of my works are to bring happiness to people.
I do this with color and subject.
I’ve found color has a magic that can change a person’s mood in a heartbeat.
Back to this painting it is one of the largest I have ever done.
I was ready to move from NY, a place I had spent my whole life.
To Vermont A place I knew nothing about.
Plus, I had been on the methadone program since 1970 and now it was 1991.
They had no program at the time in VT.
So that played a large part to the feeling expressed in this work of art.
Having to get off methadone after so many years I was told that it was near impossible.
I said I will or die trying. And I did, I was drug free for 7 or so years.
NY Nick was dying so to speak, and a new VT nick was coming to be.
The angel type figures in the art are me flying into a new phase of my life.
Closing one door and opening another.
It has great energy, movement, and power.
I’ve kept this painting and it is not for sale.
There are several works that are milestones in my life as an artist.
And when I look at this work It all comes back to me.
It is as if a FORCE within and outside of me has come to a place of harmony.
This was done with Matisse in mind.
I love his art the color, form, and simplicity.
Using a long stick with a brush fastened he painted from his bed.
He painted right up to the last.
The artist of that day was not afraid to paint what they felt.
From them I have learned to paint from my heart not my head, for my brain is not me.
My best work comes when painting without thought.
Just let the brush freely translate what’s in my heart.
Every painting I do does not belong to me.
it was painted for whom every comes to claim it.
Some artists have a tough time parting with paintings.
To me I am just the person who paints the picture.
I believe each painting is done for a certain person to brighten their life a little.
Like I said it was painted for them, I believe that is just what my heart tells me.
Occasionally a person will see a painting that moves them but cannot afford it.
I will sell it for whatever they can offer or just give it to them.
My hope is that my art will bring some small happiness into the world.
I never think about money when I paint.
Somehow, I always get what I need; thank goodness not what I want!
I feel one of my missions in life is to bring color and joy into the world.
An interesting story how this painting came about.
One night I awoke to find a large Siamese cat on my bed!
I said ” What are you doing here? He said Nick this is a dream, I said it is so real!
I got out of bed and opened my apartment door and there were trees and a forest outside my door?
I said to the cat if this is a dream, I’m going to jump out my window, I’m on the 5th floor.
So, I opened the window and jumped out I said I sure hope this is really a dream!
I started to fly all around my town it was wonderful!
But something woke me up and I was back in my bed the cat gone!
That day I grabbed a canvas and painted me flying around town,
I painted a city for I’m more comfortable with a city!
The Last Brownstone
This painting is close to my heart.
As a child the Bronx NYC was a very magic place.
I saw this photo in National Geographic, and it caught my attention.
The EL trains above the avenue, the small shops along the street under the EL
It all had a magic I guess enhanced by childhood.
The Bronx of my childhood was Italian and had the flavor of the old country.
The neighborhood was always kept clean by old Italian ladies who swept the street where they lived.
It saddens me to see it destroyed by drugs, fire and people who just don’t care.
I guess nothing stays the same; change is the way of life.
As a kid I spent my summers at my uncle Mike’s in Penn.
My cousins lived all over the north-east Bronx and we visited them all the time.
Uncle Mike was a doctor. He delivered my four Brothers.
He was married to my father’s older sister Ann.
Their home was deep in the woods.
It took 25 minutes to get to the house.
The driveway was just made of dirt and rock.
No running water, phone, or electric and it had an outhouse.
Every summer when I came home from Uncle Mikes’ my neighborhood changed.
Where there was a lot on the corner that was now a drug store.
Seems every year another lot was gone, and a building was there.
We moved to the suburbs NY when I was 10 or 11, I think.
But slowly the Bronx changed like everything else, only not for the good.
I still have great memories of it from my childhood and often draw on it for my paintings.
This lone Brownstone is the last holdout of that magic time.
Now it just lives in my mind, the Bronx of old.
The Real American
When I 1st moved to Vermont, I bought a house in Peachum.
This house had a large yard, so I posted an American flag in the yard.
One day I was outside painting.
I had painted a Native American, but I could not put a face to it.
It was a beautiful sunny, calm spring day. I said “Great Spirit give me a face!
Just then the wind picked up and blew the American flag off its mount.
It landed on my head!
It was one of those twilight zone moments!
I looked at the painting and painted an American flag on the face!
I named the painting Twoolwool was the 2nd Painting I did.
I sold the 1st one at our store a wool store/art gallery.
It was one of the 1st paintings I sold in VT.
And in fact, one of the 1st paintings I ever sold.
Yes, the Native Americans are “The Real Americans”
Since then, I have done similar type paintings but those 2 were the best!
Too Much Color Nick!
I’ve done a series of famous artists and what I thought their reaction would be to me.
I think “Rembrandt” or “Remmy” would say “Nick, there’s too much color in your art, it’s too vibrant. This is a prime example how art can be so different but the same.
When I paint, I paint the way I see the world as I guess most artist do.
In that place I’ve often said, “There are artists deep within me, whose paintings pass through me every second”. I must choose which to bring to life.”
I have a friend who’s a logger, every time he sees a tree, he sees money!
Every time I see things, I see a painting.
My friend Jim De Carlo’s father who drew Archie comics once said to me “when a person sees one of your works even without the signature they know it is a Piliero.”
You have a unique style that is all your own. That is the sign of a great artist.
When someone sees a Vincent Van Gogh, they know it is a Van Gogh, a Picasso, or a Rembrandt. They just know who the artist is. So, whether an artist paints light and shadow or the contrast of light they have a purpose and style.
I see things as forms and color and how they fit together, sort of like a puzzle.
I’m not sure if any of this makes sense but it is how I see my art and the art of others.
This is from my composer series, years ago in NYC they wanted artist to do one subject like just landscapes, portraits, or any group of paintings that were all the same subject.
I cannot do that and will not do that. It is too boring painting just one subject, that is why I seem to do series I paint 8 to 12 or so then onto the next subject.
With this composer series, I loved the way they turned out. Sort of simple but great form and color. Some paintings seem to paint themselves. There is little thought involved.
These are the best paintings sort of just let the brush go where it wants with little thought.
Witch of a Woman
I am self-taught and this was my 1st real try at creating a painting.
Beginning in 1971, I just did pen and ink black and white drawings with ink and markers.
After a near death experience, while on vacation in Cape Cod, at a flea market,
my 2nd wife said to me “Why don’t you buy some paints and try painting.”
That was in the 1980ies and the start of my painting career.
Rather than using a brush I used a brush-like pen.
As I progressed, I taught myself how to blend and work with paint.
When a person sees one of my paintings, they do not have to see the signature they know it is a Piliero. I have developed my own unique style.
My family would say “You no make ah-da money”. But I’ve paid my dues and I do “make ah-da money”.
But it is never about the $ with my art it is about the feeling that comes out of a small place inside me. If I do not go within, I go without!
Dog Playing with Shoe
Dog Playing with Shoe