by Marian Paskowicz.

Exhibit ran from January 15-February 20, 2004

Pieces of straw and a razor blade take the place of paint and brush in the hands of Marian Paskowicz, of Norristown, Pennsylvania. "Many persons in Poland do straw painting," says the artist, who came to this country in 1960, "but in the U.S. it is rare only because artistic persons never have been exposed to it and never have thought of straw as a real or true art medium." Marian Paskowicz began doing straw art at the  age of sixteen.

"The work demands art ability, manual dexterity, and patience," he says. "Yet, it is restful and rewarding, and one of the best ways I know for many persons who have great creative drive to satisfy this urge when they can't paint or sculpt."

The first step is to sketch or trace the subject carefully on paper or art board. The second step is to select the pieces of straw according to the tone and shadings requested by the subject, and to cut the straw accordingly with a sharp razor. Marian uses oat, rye, wheat, millet and barley straw to provide the various shades and textures he needs. Friends and relatives in Poland keep him supplied with the raw material.

The artist carefully inlays and glues each strand on the detailed sketch. He repeats the procedure until the drawing is completely covered with varying shades of straw. He then cuts away the surplus paper and fastens the work to a colored board - black, blue, burgundy. The finished product is sprayed with a protective coating.

The detail in the completed painting is nearly as fine as a painter could do it with a brush. Shading, texture and lighting of the straw give the work a golden glow.

Marian Paskowicz has "painted" a variety of subjects: state capitols throughout the U.S., portraits of U.S. presidents, the most famous vases of ancient cultures, the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, Saint Peter's in Rome. Among his masterpieces are counted The Last Supper and (imagine) the whole of the Sistine chapel. This exhibit shows a selection of over four hundred straw Madonnas.

Marian Paskowicz's art form is unique, and the artist is not eager to sell. Each of the hundreds of straw paintings is copyrighted. Marian's ambition is not critical acclaim, fame or wealth. He has an artist's dream, which is also the dream of a man with a generous heart. His dream is someday to have his own museum,where he can display his work for the joy of the audience, and use the proceeds to help the homeless.

Madonna and Child
Maestro della Nativita di Castello - (1300s)


Madonna and Child
Segna di Bonaventura
(1298 - 1331)

Translation of the
Holy House

Annibale Carracci
(1560 - 1609)

Madonna Admiring the Child Jesus
Francesco Botticini
(1446 - 1498)


Madonna of the Bowl
Corregio (1489 - 1534)


Our Lady of Varau
Icon in Varau


The Virgin and Child at the Fireside
Robert Campin
 (1375 - 1444)


Madonna with Child
Giorgio Vasari
(1511 - 1574)



Gentle Madonna
Ambrogio da Fasano


The Madonna Giving a Rosary to St. Dominic
Cosimo Daddi
(16 - 17 Century)


Madonna and Child
 Filippo Lippi
(1406 - 1469)


Madonna Mit Des Wichenblüte
Master of St. Veronica



The Holy Family
Martin Schongauer
(1450 - 1491)


Madonna and Child
Gerard David
(1450 - 1523)


The Assumption of
the Virgin

Nicolas Poussin
(1594 - 1665)


Madonna and Child
Filippo Lippi
(1406 - 1469)



Portrait of Maria Helf
Lucas Cranach
(1472 - 1553)


Madonna and Child
Filippo Lippi
(1406 - 1469)

Madonna and Child
Bottega Andrea Verocchio (1435 - 1488)

The Annunciation
Filippo Lippi
(1406 - 1469)



Madonna and Child
Sano di Pietro
(1406 - 1481)


Madonna and Child
Benazzo Gozzoli


Madonna and Child
Giovanni Bellini
(1430 - 1516)


Madonna and Child
Fra Angelico
(1395 - 1455)



Madonna Adoring Child
Sebastiano Mainardi
(1460 - 1513)

Madonna and Child
Bottega Andrea Verocchio
 (1435 - 1488)

Madonna and Child
Francesco Franciabigio
(1482 - 1525)

Madonna and Child
Memmi Lippo
(1285 - 1361)

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