DEMOLLI PAINTS THE TOWN
By: TRAVIS DUNN, Staff
ST.MICHAELS - Jesse G. Demolli was just trying to cross the street.
But before he had made it from Carpenter Street to Yesteryear's, he had been offered a job.
Then another one.
Then a third.
It's not surprising, then, that Demolli, 38, calls St. Michaels "the town of the dream." So far Demolli has painted murals for businesses and homes all over St. Michaels, as well as a few in Easton and Royal Oak.
His murals adorn the walls of Yesteryear's, the St. Michaels Police Department, both Rusticana restaurants and the Scented Garden.
A resident of St. Michaels for barely two months, he had a dozen jobs lined up at press time. But given the demand for his work, that number has probably gone up. "By the time I'm finished," Demolli said, "I'll have painted St. Michaels."
Demolli has lived in the United States for six years. His first four years were spent in Rockville, the next year in Silver Spring.
While living in Silver Spring, he began taking fishing trips to the Eastern Shore, and eventually he found his way to St. Michaels.
He liked the town so much he decided to move here two months ago.
Demolli said the town has a "different energy" that enhances his creativity and allows him to accomplish more work than he normally could elsewhere.
Most of his time he spends painting murals, but he does use his moments of spare time to paint in watercolors and scratch out barroom sketches. But his mural work keeps him pretty busy.
Time Square New York
specializes in all forms of decorative painting, murals, faux finishes, tromp l'oeil and for the connoisour, authentic frescos.
Historic Saint Michaels, Yesteryear's, St Michaels Maryland
"I haven't had the time to paint on canvas," he said.
He did finish three canvases in oil shortly after moving to the Eastern Shore, but they were bought up quickly, and he's been working steadily at his murals since then.
The most ambitious project he plans is an outdoor mural for the Carpenter Street Saloon. Demolli said he will paint the entire Carpenter Street side of the business.
This project will allow him to employ one of his signature techniques.
Demolli likes to incorporate existing architectural structures into his murals, and his plan for the saloon includes the three existing windows as a part of the lighthouse he will paint.
"That's my specialty," he said.
Many of his murals in St. Michaels, such as the one inside Yesteryear's, give a historical glimpse of the town as it used to be.
Demolli said he worked from old photographs and drawings of the town to come up with his plans, and made supplementary drawings by walking around town and sketching old architectural elements.
The two murals he painted for the Rusticana restaurant in Easton depict scenes of Sicily, the home of the restaurant's owner, and a vista of Capri Island is on display at the Rusticana restaurant in St. Michaels.
Demolli, who studied at the Academy of Art in Florence and taught painting before coming to the United States, said he knew he was going to work as an artist since he was eight years old.
His greatest inspiration as an artist comes from the French Impressionists.
"I'm kind of an impressionist," he said, though he was labelled as a "romantic" at his last personal exhibition in Florence.
One American painter, Winslow Homer, also has had a tremendous influence on Demolli.
"If Winslow Homer was French," he said, "he would have been one of the greatest Impressionists."
Two other painters, Tommaso Masaccio and Vincent Van Gogh, have also had an impact on his work.
"Van Gogh - he was a special one," Demolli said. "He did something that nobody had done before.