Marzia Trinca: When Art Goes Beyond Parkinson

Marzia Trinca: When Art Goes Beyond Parkinson

Author: Maurizio Casadei

Marzia Trinca (1962), born in Rome, city where she has always lived, graduated in 1990 in Architecture at La Sapienza University in Rome with a thesis entitled Assetto del Paesaggio (Landscape Arrangement). In these same years, she became interested in and fond of botany. For more than ten years now, she has been a member of the "Giardino Romano", an association that allowed her to deepen and expand her capability of recognition of plant species, thanks to numerous botanical trips in Italy and abroad. In 2002, she was forced to abandon her professional activity because she was struck by Parkinson's disease, which severely penalized her on the motor level and caused her to shiver on the left side of the body – an important detail, her being left-handed. Nevertheless, she has kept consulting texts related to the plant world and, in this way, she began painting oils of plants and flowers.

- What does art represent in your life?

Art relaxes me, and painting is an activity that makes me feel alive, it brings me back the memories of the flowers that I saw when I could still travel, before the Parkinson.

- How did your illness change your life?

Parkinson changed my life perspective. Before, if I wanted something, I could just go out there and get it, while Parkinson forced me into a sedentary life, so I focused on my passions that did not require movement: botany and art. I always look at the positive sides of my problem: a joke I often tell is that I wouldn’t be able to do nuances as good as I do, have I not had Parkinson!

- Where does your artistic flair come from?

Well, firstly, during my professional career I had the chance to work as an interior and exterior designer, and I had always put floral elements in my projects. My job gave me the opportunity of developing my artistic flair and a chromatic sensitivity for combining shades of colors. Then, by studying architecture I acquired the basics of geometrical drawing, which later on turned out to be essential for painting.

- What’s your source of inspiration?

Obviously, flowers. During my time at the university I started following botanic courses, and this passion brought me to travel around Europe for studying unusual flowers in all their peculiarities. I especially like bougainvillea, hibiscuses and campanulas.

- Which are the phases of your artistic production?

Well, first I study the flower in all its peculiarities. Then, I sketch the geometrical structure of the flower, which is a pretty labored part for me since I struggle drawing continuous lines. Afterwards, I usually paint the background, choosing a color which brings out the natural colors of the flower. I spend much time creating the colors, which I caliber very carefully. Only as a final step I paint the flower itself, using, as I said, the shaking of Parkinson as an advantage, for making the nuances.

- How long does it take you to realize a painting?

About a month each. It is a very long process: for each flower I need to continuously study it, reason on it, change hundreds of times even a small detail. The entire production is quite exhausting, but at the end I am always satisfied.

- Has your art a sort of scientific aim?

Well even if my art is pretty artisanal and rustic, it has an almost scientific/informative aim (I only paint flowers that I know very well), for letting others appreciate specimens that would not have been known otherwise. Undoubtably I focus more on the microscopic parts than on the macroscopic aspect of the painting, the final effect is just a consequence – botany is a practice of particulars, even a small detail could change what type of flower one is watching. That’s also why I ‘zoom’ the flowers on the canvas, for describing and appreciating every single feature of them. Plus, all my paintings are monothematic, for exalting the beauty of each flower singularly – I think that bouquets demean the beauty of flowers.

- Thank you very much for your time.

It has been a pleasure!
Find Marzia Trinca's enchanting artworks available online on!