Winter, cold weather, the feeling of upcoming snow and me sitting in a coffee shop, watching people outside the window. My writing is uninspired today, the Mexican novel I am working on, is kind of frozen- I have no ideas and I lost the flow.
Usually black coffee helps but today I am simply freezing.
I notice a girl outside, she is there waiting for someone apparently but I can’t really guess who may be, a friend? A lover?.
She looks really cute, asian origin, smiling in this cold afternoon: no one appears but there she remains, resilient and strong.
May I offer her a coffee? Is it appropriate?
And …she suddenly looks at me and smile. She enters the coffee shop and sit in front of me, I order a cappuccino for her and a coffee for me” who are you girl? Tell me your story please – don’t waste time waiting on the street, is this person worth?”
‘ Sir, sir? Do you wish anything else to drink? Apologize I need to ask you to pay I will shortly finish my turn” I am back to myself, my Asian girl disappeared, I sit alone again with the notes for my novel.
The two paintings are studio works, oil on canvas 80x60cm and 60x80cm are twins so to say. I like the idea to observe the world from a window: there is a kind of duplication of the reality inside/outside
I hope you like both, the blue interior is not available.
‘ I saw you, there is no doubt. You just passed by without noticing me, deep in your thoughts as I remember you used to, sometimes really lost in another dimension, sometimes just on purpose to tease me.
When I turned back, the street was busy, lights of the restaurants, no sign of you… dissolving presence.Maybe it’s another of your jokes, hiding, waiting for me in a secret place I must discover.
Maybe… I am simply loosing my mind – I shouldn’t look back, you are somewhere else in my future: at the end of my story we will be together again”
I can’t say where the text comes from, this is a mystery for me even if I write them and I am the painter. There is always a time between one and another a freedom exercise, a way not to influence myself much.
The reference is a shot very spontaneous, while I was walking to the dance class: I was taken by the light, that’s for sure one of my obsession nevertheless it happens sometimes I see a subject and I simply fall in love with it. Beside the window shops lights and the juicy green, the girl turning suddenly, her move seems like a pose to me, a slow motion, change of direction, like it would be dance.Me sitting into an imaginary audience took the freedom to try to capture it on a canvas.
It’s hot, Milano turns into a tropical city during summertime. Fog and cold are just memories, African heat and mosquitoes the reality.It’s midday sticky and empty streets…nobody would go out right now without a good reason, but I have one.Power walk modus, I need to reach the darsena as fast as I can.
Andrea will be waiting for me already, I didn’t expect her – she just texted ‘here I am, I want to see you. I don’t even know if I really want to meet her after that quarrel but she made it until here. We will have a coffee in this mezzogiorno di fuoco.
I love to paint evening and cosy light: this work dedicated to Milano was a bit a challenge, full sunshine in all its brutality. The city can be really hot in summer, you can look for shades, less physical action or air conditioning.This work is oli painting on canvas 60×80 cm. More will follow about Milano and Italy, I have memories and stories to tell.
“Good Morning, a black coffee please, scrambled eggs and brown toast”
Would you like some jam and a Kipferl ? They are very good madam, I recommend them
No thank you,
Quite a pity, we have great cakes too, maybe a small slice just to start the day with sweetness?
No thank you.
Well, your choice, but let me tell you miss an opportunity.
Missing opportunities is my specialty…
I see, enjoy Madam “
This dialogue would be a very uncommon one in a Wiener cafe house: usually waiters are not very talkative, not even for selling’s sake- a relatively measured friendliness must be part of the job education.
The painting is inspired by a coffeehouse in Vienna: I love this terribly old fashioned furniture and the slightly decadent atmosphere. Early morning, when all is quiet, those places are meditative: you get a good coffee, people read newspaper, the time extends and all flows with its own rhythm.
In this view the light and the reflections were particularly appealing to me:the way the sunshine enters through the windows and reflects on the marble surface of the tables and the warmth coming from the crystal chandeliers fill the room with a mixture of hope and memories.
“ I double check the address and I am right, I didn’t expect to find this small house surrounded by other buildings. The appearance is quite modest and the garden surrounding it is wild and green like a Bavarian jungle. I have the task to get this ground, of course as cheap as I can – it looks like an easy job…we can build more apartments there, I will ring the bell…“
An old lady opened the door, deaf and suspiciously looking at the real estate agent…
‘ Her car is there so she must be at work, I can wait a little… I know we don’t have a date and I am not even sure she will be happy to see me here around but I must try it. She is so beautiful, I can’t wait days in the hope to meet her again at the coffee shop where we hada chat last week… why I didn’t ask her phone number?….I am such an idiot … now here I look like a stalker’. The Metropol Gar age door opened suddenly, there she was.’
I painted both scenes in the last weeks, they are spontaneous works and have been painted outside on the spot, enplain air, like the impressionists used to do. This way of working requires speed and focus in the execution and the small format forces to take quite bold decisions on the subject and composition.
The old house is entirely painted with pallet knives for the simple reason I forgot the brush’s case at home that day, nevertheless I like how it turned out. The snapshots I decided to depict were impressing me for the light and the simplicity – I feel they are close to ‘real life’ with some imperfections and stories to tell.
You walk home, the same way as every day in a cold winter evening. Nobody waits for you beside Micky, your cat waiting for his dinner. It is different from what you imagined or not?
Tokyo, Hong Kong, London and now here, you have not really expected more company, the job is less thrilling than years ago and your watches collection reminds you that time pass by.
Smoke from your cigarette and you walk home.”
While I paint, I tell myself stories and I begin when I decide for a subject.
It’s very often a spontaneous decision, immediate, like taking a instant picture or the opposite, growing day by day , slowly, passing by always the same spot.
In this case it was a slow approach, the flair of this shop, the light in the night with the warmth of the window: smoking as comfort for the soul, a meditative hug a relaxing moment where you stop the hectic of the day and start thinking.
I never smoked and I can’t tell if my interpretation is right: but the sketch convinced me, the square composition simple and balanced with a jazzy mood. The enlightened red of the label, you can’t help falling in love with it while painting.
I changed a bit the drawing in the painting, introducing a little perspective instead of a side view; it shows a bit better the dynamic of the walking man, the way he comes back. From-where we don’t know, to where, neither.
The last weekend I had the luck to participate to ArtMuc with some of my oil paintings. The experience has been intense and I feel some echos even with a week distance. Hard were the rules, Covid related, masks, longer opening but the effort was rewarded by many people visiting and a great exchange between artists.
Many are asking me now… how was it? So I decided to share some impressions from those days
We had super busy days and rush hours but also some minutes for sketching – a very subjective view on the event: artists waiting, people interested in art diving into it and others focused on their mobile
I am thankful to all the people that came and to whom I chatted with, for the comments and the feedbacks received and to all the artists I met there – amazing people. The organization is adding the possibility to virtually visit the show, a good opportunity to get a flavor of it if you missed it
Following the theme of the hat shop, a second work inspired to a lovely shop in Munich and to my exceptional friend that model for me. Somehow it’s not the season to paint in studio but given the current situation and the indication to stay home , I am coming back to all the photo references even if older ones.
It’s super interesting to see which elements are differently capturing my attention, completely new stories come out from the same source. Here I liked the gesture to look for the matching element in the hat atelier shop.