Artist Profile: Cecilia Capitanio

Cape Cod Art  /  ART Annual 2019 / ,

Writer: Rory Marcus

“Chicken Feast 2” • 16” x 20” • Oil on canvas

Growing up in picturesque Vina del Mar, Chile, Cecilia Capitanio was surrounded by vivid clothing and vibrant gardens, and she expressed her love of color through painting in school.  Her desire to continue to create art was ignited when she won first place in a regional art contest. She loved painting animals and people’s faces. She still does.

Capitanio’s marriage brought her to Cambridge and later Framingham, MA, and while raising her family she delved into the study of the master impressionists and attended classes at the Danforth Museum of Art in Framingham, and Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. Throughout the years, Capitanio has been influenced by Chilean artist Jaime Alfonso—who is an accomplished painter residing in the U.S.—and the many artists she’s taken courses with, including Ellen VanWyck and David Curtis of Rockport, Constance Flawell Pratt of Norwell, and the Cape’s Charles Soveck.  

Twenty years ago, as painting began to take up more of her time, she moved to Falmouth. “I knew the Cape because we had come for vacations many times,” Capitanio says. “The Cape is such a special place to be for an artist. Surrounded by so many art galleries, museums, art associations and great artists, I knew I would be more involved with painting here.”  

“Shack” • 14” x 30” • Oil on canvas

Capitanio enjoys painting different subjects in different media. She usually paints on small formats for plein air and larger formats for portraits or commissions in the studio. “Cape Bog” was painted on the spot when the color and beauty of the scene caught her attention. “I want to show the warmth and the beauty of the Creator,” she says. “When I paint a portrait, landscape or still life, my desire is to help people see what surrounds them from a different perspective, with the hope that it will entice them to teach their children to love and respect creativity and art.” 

In many of her paintings, Capitanio strives to tell a story because she wants the viewer to “think about what they’re looking at, when it began and where it goes,” she explains. “I choose many subjects by observing people’s facial expression and characteristics, where they live or what they do on a daily basis.” About her oil painting “Chicken Feast 2,” she says: “I went to a farm and had the itch to paint what I saw. I saw a woman feeding the chickens with an expression on her face showing great pleasure in what she was doing.” The sad look on the face of the old man in “The Egg Vendor” leads her, and she hopes others, to wonder, “Is it because he hasn’t sold so many eggs yet, or for another reason?”

Cecilia’s paintings have been exhibited in numerous juried art shows in the U.S. and in countries abroad. “It always gives me pleasure to get to know people personally and to see their reaction when looking at a painting with smiles, or many times with mixed emotions because it brings back memories,” she says.

“The Egg Vendor” • 20” x 28” • Oil on canvas

Cecilia Capitanio is represented by:

Woodruff’s Art Center, Mashpee,,
and The Gallery on Main, Falmouth,