Delfina Piretti is a visual artist and expressive arts psychotherapist with a studio in San Francisco. Piretti’s studio work incorporates painting, mixed media works, installation, live events, and public art. Her art practice relates directly to her work as a somatic psychotherapist and expressive arts therapist.  Her artwork is also informed by her shamanic practice, Zen Buddhism and her Italian cultural roots. Delfina was named after her Italian Nonna.

She holds a BA in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Photography from Empire State College, Rochester NY, and an MA in Clinical Psychology and Expressive Arts Therapy from Antioch University West, San Francisco CA. Delfina also studied in Buffalo University’s Visual Studies Workshop.


In Italian they have a saying: “Devo farlo per le mie ossa“.  The translation is: “I need to make it for my bones,” or “I need to do it for my strength.”

The little notebooks I carry around, found objects, photographs, dreams, metaphors, disturbing injustices, are all part of the energy to make art. I work from the feminine principle which is  process oriented. At the same time I have studied traditional atelier style oil painting . I work with a variety of materials: oil paint, canvas, paper mache, natural materials: wood, plants and flower essences. The art making moves between paintings, installations, and public art works.

My work references my Italian Catholic cultural roots, Zen meditation practice, and years of working with my own and others’ suffering- doing body/mind psychotherapy. 

Finishing a painting is like waking from a compelling dream, a stream of coherent fragments that is affirming and confronting. Dreams and paintings speak the same language: image, sensation and nonlinearity. I often work from photographs taken from my phone, letting go of the realism and going for the shapes and feelings. 

In the same way as a kid I use to make forts in the woods I make parachute tent installations, womb-like spaces that ask something of the viewer: a confession, expression, a place of origination and development.



Fifteen years as a visual artist: painting & interactive installations; committed to ongoing artistic growth and expression, as well as community art education and public art-making.


2017  Busvan Gallery, San Francisco, CA. Group Show & Benefit "Message in a Bottle" Surfrider Foundation

2016 Pro Arts Gallery, Oakland CA.  Group Show "Songs for Women Living with War"

2016  Luggage Store Gallery, San Francisco, CA. Group Show: "Welcome to the Left Coast" 

2015 Mission Artist United Open Studios/Workspace , San Francisco, CA

2014 Artspan Open Studios, Workspace Art Studios and Somart Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2014  Verge Center for the Arts Opening Exhibition, Group Show “Champagne”, Sacramento, CA.

2013  Artspan Open Studios. Workspace , San Francisco, CA.

2013  Solo Exhibition/ New Work , Zen Center, San Francisco , CA.

2012  Juried Community Art Exhibit, Sofia University, Palo Alto, CA.

2012  Art Span Open Studios/ Workspace Art Studios and Somart Gallery, San Francisco, CA.

2012  Mission Artist United Spring Open Studios Juried Group Show/ Workspace Limited , San Francisco, CA.

2010  Art Span Open Studios/ Workspace Limited Art Studios, San Francisco, CA.

2010  Dream Play Art & Performance Event, Sin Eater Cafe & Dream Repository, San Francisco, CA.

2010  Art Span Open Studios Paintings and Installation: Sin Eater Cafe, Workspace Limited,  San Francisco, CA.

2009  Art Span Open Studios , Paintings and Installation: Dream Repository,Workspace Limited, San Francisco, CA.

2005  Art Span Open Studios, Paintings,  Workspace Limited, San Francisco, CA.

2006  Art Span Open Studios, Paintings, Workspace Limited, San Francisco, CA.

2007  Art Span Open Studios, Paintings,  Workspace Limited, San Francisco, CA.

2008  Art Span Open Studios, Paintings/ Group Show at Workspace Gallery and Somart Gallery, San Francisco, CA.

2004Sacred Prostitute Group Show; Springer-Croke Fine Art , San Francisco, CA.

2003    Poetry and Painting /Group Show, New Langton Arts, San Francisco, CA.

2002    Diego Rivera Gallery, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA. Community Education Student Group Show.

2001   Group Show of Paintings.  The Musical Offering Café, Berkeley, CA.

2000  Cab Top Art Ads: Creation and installation of four posters on top of taxi cabs in San Francisco, CA. A project of the SF Art Commission, in collaboration with women of The SAGE Project and public artist Johanna Poethig.

1999    Influence/Confluence Group Show of seven painters. San Francisco Antique and Design Mall Gallery, San Francisco, CA.

1998  Solo Show of Mixed Media Paintings, Bean There Café, San Francisco, CA.

1996    Public Art Project with incarcerated women: Installation of six kiosk posters in downtown San Francisco. A project of the SF Art Commission.



Guest lecturer, San Francisco Art Institute, S.F., CA. June 2013. Course title: Fresco Painting; Lecture and experiential: Painting on the Cave Wall: Origins of the Creative Process.

Artist Residency : Palazzo Rinaldi. Guest artist:  Open Air Children’s Art Workshop ( Title: Dream the World into Being), Pollino National Park, Noepoli, Italy, August 2009

Guest lecturer, California College of the Arts (CCA), San Francisco, CA, October 2007. Course title: The Complete Fresco. Lecture title: Painting on the Cave Wall: Origins of the Creative Process.


M.A., Clinical Psychology, Concentration in Creative Art Therapies, Antioch University, San Francisco, CA, 1982

B.A., Liberal Arts/Photography, SUNY Empire State College and The Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, NY, 1977

Study with professional artist Larry Robinson, Oakdale Painting Studios, San Francisco, CA, 1996-present.

SF Art InstituteGlenn Hirsch; Thekla Hammond

Painting Critique with Eugene Rodriguez 2005-2010


Art Span, San Francisco, CA.

Workspace Arts Association, San Francisco, CA.

Mission Artist United, San Francisco