In 1996, after a hiatus of several years, she returned to art and began using acrylics to paint street and market scenes. These paintings were recognized for their sense of immediacy, light, space and movement. In 2001 she joined a class in art theory where she discovered the themes that sustain her work today. The first two series to emerge from this class were icon-like paintings of trees and, concurrently, “Tower of Babel”. Both investigated the nature of meaning and the way we construct it, and our limitations as we try to understand our world, and communicate within and across cultures.
In recent years Cardellino has been able to devote herself to her art. Her three latest series include: “FACES”, a large group of small paintings exploring human physiognomy and our responses to the human image; “Fabulous Menagerie”, which revels in animal forms while appreciating our relationships with the other creatures of this planet; and the current, ongoing series “Beyond the Magic Kingdom”, where fairytales and folktales provide themes reflecting varied, often confounding aspects of our personal and public lives.
Cardellino was a student and instructor at the Art League in Alexandria, VA. Her work has appeared in numerous juried and curated exhibitions, regional and national, and it has been singled out for merit by varied and distinguished judges and critics. Her paintings are included in private, public and corporate collections throughout the United States and internationally. She is a member of the Art League and a juried member of the Torpedo Factory Artists’ Association. She maintains a studio in the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, VA.