20 December 2007

And so this is Christmas...

Well this is a Christmas greeting card (or so).
I have a love-hate relationship with this season. Christmas has given me some of the best and the worse moments of my life. Most of the first happened when I was a child and so I keep a feeling of miss since it's impossible to feel that euphoria as an adult. My son made me try to give him the same mythic Christmas I had, and this took out some hidden feelings. Christmas is now a mix of naive good willing, gorgeous meals, and choral carols on one side, and shopping mall lightings (turned on in october) and chilling front pages on the other.
I can't do without this (not so) opposite points of view. I don't want to do without any of them.
Juj should say it's a little schizophrenic, and she should be right as usual.
Anyway, I guess I'm not so original, I bet many of you feel similar.

... and what have you drawn? Ehm..., nothing...
but here are a couple of presents:

this is from my Dr. Jeckill me:

and this is from my Mr. Hyde me:

Merry Christmas to you all.

04 December 2007

Every Doodle Matters #9

"An organized chaos" or in other words, 100 challenges -or so- in one go. But people who love logical games -as me- could say that one of the missing challenges is just #9 since it's self-referential an then not included itself in the drawing. If this could be right then the title would be wrong so I could entitle it EDM #42 "something you are thankful for" (it's was a great day when I found this group), or EDM #61 "a group of 2 or more similar objects (what about 100 or so EDM Challenges?), or EDM #71 "something representing your favorite sport" (I used to love cricket, curling, petanque and extreme ironing, but EDM'ing is much better, even if not so calorie burning). Of course, there's so much inspiration I owe Andrea. Thank you!

01 December 2007

In the verdant hills of Tuscany

The door on the left side is the entrance to our friends G&K's house, and the place is a little borgo called Bonazza, near Florence. We were here last weekend for our italian, english, spanish and of course american Thanksgiving. I made this sketch with the intention of adding some watercolor wash at home, but since I had used a not waterproof pen I couldn't do this way, so I put color with photoshop.

A coat of many colors, yellow green on either side

My old drawings chest seems to be bottomless. Obviously I don't post every relic I find here and there, but from time to time an old drawing catch my attention because of... I don't know what, and so I get through the embarrassment of showing my beginner drawings... and well... ladies & gentlemen... my first published cover. It was made in 1983 for a magazine about puzzles, logical games and recreational mathematics. As you can suppose by the theme, it was a very very little magazine and they payed me a very very little money, but I was very very glad anyway. (And finally we knew that The Thinker, is actually thinking about some hard logical problem proposed by the magazine he holds in hand. So naïf...)
It was made with black, red, blue, green, sepia and yellow inks. I used Gillot, Brandauer and Faber Castell nibs, a different one for each color. I've never repeated again this technique.

20 November 2007

All around me are familiar faces

About two months ago, tidying up my old folders I found a lot of forgotten drawings, many of which I've now posted here.
My last archaeological loot (and now I'll must upload just new drawigs) is a series of portraits. These are two of them made in 1985 ca., you can see the rest here.

I had a big surprise seeing again the crosshatching in Duke's collar because it reminded me -far in the distance- the technique of my admired France.
It was made with a rapidograph (our beloved Pigma Micron type fibre pen didn't exist then). For this kind of work, the only choice was this or the dip pen.

This is one of the few drawings of which I don't conserve the original. I made a good photocopy for me, and gave the original to a friend of mine, great fan of Buñuel as me.

13 November 2007

Snakes in the ocean, eels in the sea...

I've been wandering early and (mainly) late
(but not) from New York City to the Golden Gate (maybe one of these days).
And (luckily) it don't look like I'll ever stop my wandering.

10 November 2007

EDM#18 The view from two windows

I drew this last weekend looking out of the window of R&C's House in Naples. The churh on the center is Santa Teresa degli Scalzi. On the background Sant'Elmo's Castle and the Charterhouse of San Martino. I took also some photos that you can see here.

I've found this a week ago lost in some folder. I made it in august 2003 sitting in the balcony of our house in Zola Predosa, where we lived since our arrival in Italy (july 2001) to august 2005 when we moved to our current house. I didn't know I was making EDM#18 "Draw the view from a window".

Give me a healthy mind, Lord

I believe in the religion of this prayer.
I did this as a gift for my friends R&C in 1993.
The photo came out really bad but the text is still readable and that's all that matters.

22 October 2007


I've been tagged by Felicity to tell 7 facts about me, here they are:
1. As well as Felicity, I have different ears too. I didn't knew it till the late 80's when I tried to put on some earphones and I just couldn't do it with the right side one.
2. I used to sing in an amateur choir as a bass-baritone. Beeing inside a Monteverdi's madrigal is a big, big, big experience.
3. Some times I used to work as a woodworker in my father's workshop. I didn't reach to learn the trade.
4. I gave up smoking on september 6, 1998. The method was the old "here, now an forever". I just hid my last Camel pack with about half the cigarettes. I found it months after while arranging my drawers and throw it away.
5. I started three degrees: Psychology, Graphic Design and Interior Design. I didn't ended none of them.
6. I don't like metallic stuff as bracelets or chains. I almost don't use watches (I use to see the hour on my cell phone). I have no wedding ring.
7. For some months I've been a lifeguard in a swimming pool.

20 October 2007

Love letters

I made this in the spring of 1995. A month before we had known that Roberta was pregnant, and Fabio was just a little ampersand without a name. It's one of the very few of my works that hangs on a wall (in this case at home, obviously).
I've been very interested in calligraphy and lettering in the past. I used to have a very "typographic" approach to graphic design when I used to do this work. Now I just handwrite the titles and comments of my sketches (and also the new header for my blog).
I've uploaded some other "letters" here.

13 October 2007

The old Maurits Cornelius

I knew about M. C. Escher in the late 70's in the first Martin Garner's book I read, and from then on both entered my list of the great men of all times. Years after, in 1994 I've been in Granada and get really flabbergasted by La Alhambra, specially by the decoration patterns.
I tried to know more about and I discovered that one of the biggest specialist was... Escher!! (He got interested like me on a trip to Granada he made in 1922). I tried to deepen on the study of patterns, symmetry and tessellation and it's because of this that for a while I didn't sketched so much. I had forgot all the pages I filled then on some lost folder and found them by chance a couple of weeks ago.
You can see some of them here.

I wanted to try to create an Escher-like tessellation, that was the only finished drawing of the series. Here it is (I apologize for my german transcription).

Next two were made last december as a kind of doodling in a not so inspiring waiting room.
The old MCE is always there.

07 October 2007

EDM #56 "...keeping an eye on the holy land"

EDM #056 Draw a self portrait
The big shadow is half a creative choice, half a fiddle to avoid drawing the second glass (it always comes different from the first one).
I made a lot of sketches and two serious (and missed) attempts before this one, but I'm not so courageous as Suzanne: I haven't published them.
I've made this with France's stratospheric portraits somewhere in mind (color on the back is a little homage).
Thank you both!

05 October 2007

M. takes his paints and his threads...

...and he waves a pattern all of his own.
(Just to go on with Andrea's game).
I've just tried to fill a page omiting recognizable elements and with a certain balance of black and white. I could have entitled it "Composition #19" or "Black & White mud fighting", or just "Untitled", and then someone could have considered it a piece of whoknowswhat and buy it for many, many hundreds and sell it for many, many thousands, but the real truth is that this is a simple, quiet, relaxing load of doodles.

You can see it even bigger here.

30 September 2007

EDM #116 Who's afraid of the big dish wash?

I don't love this thing. At all. Any relationship between us means that the dishwasher doesn't hold all the dish, or some pan was too dirty to entrust the machine with the job... and somebody will wash the dish by hand. But green is great.

29 September 2007

EDM #54 ...And I love her

One of the loves of my life: my itty bitty teeny weeny (the pen is just to give an idea of the size) moka express: two cups of dark strong italian coffee. I meet her at least 3 times a day: first about 7:30 before breakfast (a great habit I took in Italy), second about 10:30, third after lunch.
I know this love of mine will never die... and I love her.

20 September 2007

People next

We were in Gardaland, a fun fair near Garda Lake about 130 km from home. After a sandwich break the kids were all fresh and bouncing, while big people needed some coffee (or better some siesta).

11 September 2007

In memoriam Luciano

Last days italian TV has been full of odes to this big man, so I couldn't avoid to make some scribbles.
He was not my favorite (let's forget some raids in "foreign" repertoire) but there were some roles he sang as no one ever did.

Card game

Weekend in Cori, a little town 70 km south Rome.
These were some old men who played cards outdoors at the main square.

Actually there were only two men who played.
The others just watched the game.

EDM #84 and some doodles

Having dinner at the restaurant's terrace, with some friends and not so much light.

Afterwards at home with some will of drawing and not so much inspiration.

15 August 2007

Back from vacation

I've been in Lech, a little town in Voralberg, the westernmost region of Austria. The idea was trekking in the morning and swimming in the afternoon, but half the days the weather didn't agree. We seized the rainy days to visit some wonderful places as Bregenz or Sankt Gallen.
I was really amazed by the facades.

I wanted to work on light and tone and so I carried only markers and fibre pens. No much color in this post.

There were two Orthodox Jews playing chess on the the top of the Rüfispitze (2.632 m)

It was because of the weather that most of my sketches were made dinning at the restaurants...

...or having breakfast at the hotel

which restaurant had a marvelous ceiling.

Next two were made at the S'Achtele Restaurant,
that really deserves the link.

The next 4 were all made while having breakfast at the hotel.

I finished the crosshatching of the next at the swimming pool
(it's easy to guess it from the stains).

Next two are EDM #128 from both sides of the door

This was made after a whirlpool bath (a very relaxing sketch).

30 July 2007

EDM #13 and some forgotten pages

Heat is not the best for creativity, and so I took one of the nearest things so I must not move too many muscles or shake too much gray matter.

Last week I must go again to the dentist. I sat on the same chair of the last time and I obviously want not to draw the same motive (see this). Instead of looking in front of me I looked to the left where this plant was. (I touched the sketch with some watercolors at home).

After the plant there was nothing interesting to draw. I resigned myself to draw the fire extinguisher, and to finish my descent on boredom, I let my hand rave.

25 July 2007

EDM #96 (or it was 47?)

Even if it was my birthday, I was not allowed to do a real EDM challenge live. Someone talked about tons of melted paraffin wax oozing over such a tasty cake while they wait for me to finish one of those... sketches. (Ah, we artists always misunderstood!)
Well, I shot a photo before blowing the candles and eating the cake, with the idea of draw from it taking my time. This time lasted about two -very busy- weeks.
Finally, a couple of days ago, taking a look at the challenge list I saw that #96 was "draw something sweet"... and I thought that really it was.

16 July 2007

Tutti a tavola!!

I made this before knowing about EDM. They are illustrations for a book of recipes from the cuisine of Emilia Romagna. The editor didn't want dishes ready to eat, but products ready to cook. In a very EDMish approach, since these are quite traditional recipes he asked me for loose watercolor still lives, with not so many attention to the detail but to the atmosphere, avoiding any kind of modern tools and pottery.
They were all made with brown 0.7 pencil, Winsor & Newton watercolors and Talens Ecoline liquid watercolors on Fabriano 300g watercolor paper.
These are only a few ones, all the recipes can be seen here.

Fantasia di piadine con squaquerone, erbette selvatiche,
cipolla fondente e prosciutto crudo di Parma

Anolini alla parmigiana con salsa allo stracotto

Involtini di lombetto con roviggiolo speziato e crescentine fritte

Tortelli d'erbetta al culatello di zibello croccante, scalogno di romagna e parmigiano

Zuppa inglese meringata