Gabriella Pieretti - Colors of the Soul


by Darlene Wilson

As she speaks, Gabriella Pieretti’s delicate hands tell an expressive tale of her journey from childhood days in Cagli to galleries across Italy and Europe.

And when she uses those same hands to maneuver oil paints on canvas, the result is bellisimo. Today, a Pieretti piece commands anywhere from 3,000—18,000 Euros. Gabriella with Empirico

From her wheelchair, Gabriella tells of a fall just over 10 years ago that changed her life’s direction. Left with limited ability to walk, she matter-of-factly explains her decision to either write a book or become an artist. With no formal training and guided by her “heart and soul,” she says, she began painting using her hands, rather than brushes, as her primary tools.

After just two months, her work was accepted in shows in Florence, and she was well on her way to recognition throughout Europe.

Gabriella chuckles when she shares that her distinctive, expressive technique is a secret. With arms widespread, she suddenly breaks into opera tenor Andrea Bocelli’s Non e Partico—sharing the inspiration that music gives her. Creativity “comes from my soul,” she says. “For me, I live in every single painting.”

For me, I live in every single painting.”Although she wears black today, she loves all colors as evidenced by the canvases in the entrance to her home. Deep cobalt blues and fiery reds communicate a sense of energy and positivity that Gabriella says she wants others to feel in their lives.  

As a teenager, Gabriella says, she left Cagli, moving on to Sorrento and Naples before settling in Rome. Her artistic flair emerged as she spent several years as a fashion model in Rome before settling into a career in public relations. Working with people became her new passion, and she thrived.

Many years later, retirement meant that Gabriella would call Cagli home once again, this time with her husband, Gilberto Gramolini. His face darkens as he shares that “being retired in Rome is sad. Life in Cagli is much easier and closer to children and grandchildren.” Walks to and from the piazza are part of their daily life.

The creative gene continues within the family as son Alessandro Gramolini is a local designer of women’s jeans and pants. He and sister, Beatrice, work together in Cagli at their clothing studio. The clothing they design is sewn locally and sold in several European countries. Smiling, he says, “We are a small company.”

Gabriella speaks intensely of her life and her craft. She has received awards throughout Italy and Europe—but she makes it clear that she doesn’t want to be famous.Empirico “I have been ambitious my whole life,” she says. “Without ambition you don’t go far.”

Standing behind her, Gilberto shyly motions to myriad awards on the wall in the entry to their home. Alongside the awards hang a few significant pieces of Gabriella’s work, the only pieces not currently on display at the Piazza di Spagna, a popular gallery in Rome. Gilberto points to one award from the Accademia Internazionale di Arte Moderna in Rome as perhaps the most significant European recognition of Gabriella’s work.

For Gabriella, art is a way of expressing what she feels inside. Her painting Empirico (“Feeling”) represents the joy expressed in Gabriella’s work -- her passion, she says. “When I create, I put everything that is inside me in colors. I feel like I am flying.” 



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