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 arrived just yesterday, long trip, full bags heavy heart.
Here life just run slower, the time is gentle with us, days are extended and I can even walk late afternoon just letting my mind free to imagine.
I could spend my entire life here, listening to the waves, not only one week or two…why not always?
Rent a simple room somewhere where I can hear the sea and watch its endless movement
Breath this salty fresh air and simply be calm.”
As much as I love the sea and ocean, it’s rarely subject if my paintings. I find difficult to tell it’s story without being obvious. The reference I used for this work is an exception, I was in Ischia around with my camera in the evening and my subject were those rusty boats In one shot I realized there was hidden a scene, two men chatting at the ferry boat’s dock.
I loved the situation, so usual for a place at seaside, so connected with the moment… and while I was busy rendering people and boats, I painted the sea.
“…and every time I walk across this street, I feel like a tourist. I have been here so many times, day and night, alone and with friends for a drink but to be here now, early afternoon with my brand new dress it feels like holiday.
It was a spontaneous escape from the office, a late lunch break and I see this wonderful green dress in a shop – a bit old fashioned maybe? Well I don’t care, I simply love it because it has the taste of spring. I bought it and had it on immediately. My usual black uniform jacket… I will keep it for a rainy afternoon: today it must be life, it must be green!”
It is Milan again, to be precise Brera area, a very lively one with the art academy, fancy shops, bars and restaurants: its a very busy part of the city streets are narrow and buildings quite old fashioned. There is movement in the scene, the sunshine my home country has. It is pure energy and a symbol of simple enjoyment of the moment.
Finally it’s, evening, a long working week it’s over, thanks God it’s Friday
“Do you have plan for this weekend ?
No just relaxing, why?
Oh well I am gathering some friends for dinner… something easy, why don’t you join us?
Mmmm, well yes, indeed I could…
Oh perfect! Lovely to have you and if I remember you did such a great tiramisu last time…would you mind to repeat that masterpiece?
Ahhhh ok yes, sure I can prepare it, if you wish.
That would be fantaaaastic!
Just to mention: 20 people are invited maybe not everyone join but some dessert left over is never an issue, right? Thank you so much for your offer, see you then!”
Probably because I have been so many times with too many bags around, I could identify well with the girl in the painting. It`s a Munich subject and a nocturne which has its appeal: everything is beautiful at night with the colored lights, even a rainy day gives the opportunity to a common crossroad to shine.
‘ 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 absolved my morning jogging round and on my way home,I nearly forgot it’s flee market day, I will have a short look.
How it can be so crowded here,… old stuff, granny stile robes, nothing practical… but, wait, look those plates with a thin golden profile. They are not even so ugly but for the dishwasher are not an option. So, let’s move on, I need a shower and a good coffee… but hey! Hold on, I don’t believe it! it can’t be true, look at what that girl has found…I need to watch it closer, if it is what I THINK…It must be MINE“
I like the sense of life in market place’s scenes, the contrasts and the variety they offer. From a painting point of view, it is just fun to play with different surfaces, objects and people. The main challenge is to focus on a story, because the reality has so many suggestions that from one shot you could create many paintings.
For this one I used a photo reference but to focus I had to pick up in an ink sketch a some interesting characters: the sporty lady there by chance, the deep into matters one and of the back what I called Mrs Magoo which I felt in love with. Diverse people, as much as flee market objects, captured at once, looking for their own personal treasure … I liked it so I took a 60×80 cm canvas and started to work.