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.
“…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.
“ 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.
“ 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.