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Art by Albano Gioia
Looking for the strength
This post's featured artist is Gioia Albano originally from Italy, now living in France. 
A fellow #twitterartexhibit follower, she saw my tweet about the Muse News feature and is the first artist to use the online form. (Which works splendidly.)

In her own words -
"I was born in Milan on the 20th of june 1973.
I'm born as an artist, even if my life wasn't always that straight about it, I had to fight above all with my own self to get ready enough and go back to paint again. 
So a part my early works I can say that I started again "seriously" since 2007. 
Today I live in the south of France with my husband and three children. It's actually not that easy find time to do all, so I'm quite often working at night!
I always loved to paint women, I just love that. They're me, you, life...they are beautiful and there is so much to find out.
Sometimes They exist just in my imagination, sometimes inspired by a particular topic, or by a person that I actually met.
As time goes on thanks to my personal experience I start painting different aspects of maternity, particularly the nurturing aspects of motherhood including breastfeeding, sleeping, carrying babies and so on.
These are also my choices as a mum, I love to think that they'll help building people that can be more close to their hearth and make this world a better place.
You can also find flowers and trees. 
Sometimes the human body and face and natural subjects are so linked together that they look like one.
I think that nature reminds me to calm down in the every day life and reminds me to build my roots wherever I live.
I do impasto technique which I cherish because it reminds me in the gesture and in the thick colour how much I can be strong and how much paintings can be as well."

Be sure to visit her colourful and inspiring store at Etsy. (I'm already saving my pennies to purchase some of her beautiful art...)
Here's a list of her recent exhibitions.

What inspires you?

"This 2012 has been a difficult year until now, I'm struggling with my life, I touched depression and I'm actually working to sort things out which is good but not that easy. Kind of rebuilding things that were built in a not ok way many years ago. 
Being a parent brings you to deal with your inner child and with similar sorts of things, so we are tempted to escape or we can feel overwhelmed , then we have to stay strong like a tree in the storm!"

What do you do when your muse goes AWOL?

"Well, I just keep painting, usually she's not too far away..."

Paintings by Gioia Albona

Thanks so much for being the first to use the submission form Gioia, I'm very grateful to have been introduced to your wonderful artwork. I hope that readers of this post are too. (I'm sure they will be.)