Thursday, 30 August 2012
here. What the EDM challenges have done for me is to remove the inertia, the indecision about what to draw. They have also given me a routine, a drawing a day, so that the fear of the blank page doesn't have the time to creep back in. I am very pleased with this, as I very much enjoy sketching once I've started. Art came late in my life, only a few years ago, and it has been difficult to carve a space for it, a space that doesn't hurt, I mean, that feels natural. I am finally getting there, and I'm happy.
Wednesday, 29 August 2012
Tuesday, 28 August 2012
I collect cameras, especially old film cameras. I started doing photography pretty much in the digital era and had very little experience of film. Digital doesn't entirely satisfy me, there's always that eerie sense of being slightly manipulated or conned by gadgets and gimmicks, these AIs that are supposed to know what you want, who you are, what you want to photograph and how. I love the fact that old cameras, especially cheap compacts, do what they want, and that you, as a photographer, need to work around their quirks. I thought it would be fun to draw a couple of my old cameras with a silverpoint, to make them look even older, almost contemporary to Leonardo. I just stuck a silver wire (i.e. an ex earring) into a mechanical pencil, and voilà.
Monday, 27 August 2012
Sunday, 26 August 2012
Saturday, 25 August 2012
...in a different medium. So there you go, challenge #2 Draw a lamp.
This is a wall lamp in my caravan. I drew it on my ipod last week. I haven't done any drawings in the past couple of days, but I felt like posting something anyway. It's very grey and rainy outside today, feels like the end of summer. I love changes of seasons, and I've always liked Autumn, the first rains in Italy, and buying all the new school books. I didn't like studying, but I loved new books and new stationery. I liked, and still like, anything new, pristine, untouched. That's it for today, I'm warmly wrapped up in my memories.
Thursday, 23 August 2012
There are still tons of tourists crossing the wrong zebra crossing, signing their names on the walls and taking pictures of the studio and, as my 'part' was to be a tourist, I pretended to take a few pics myself. Except that I took them for real, you know, to get into character.
Monday, 20 August 2012
It's summer, of course, so no real autumn leaves around, but this one, that I found near the gym, looks close enough. Perhaps it was brought down by that half hour storm yesterday and then dried out in the afternoon sun. Anyway, an August fall leaf, now become immortal, so to speak.
Sunday, 19 August 2012
I got the caravan 10 years ago and I immediately decided it was the perfect place for my old guitar to retire. I bought it when I had first arrived in London almost 25 years ago. It's been through a lot of hardship and it's now kept together with black gaffer tape. It still sounds great though.
Saturday morning, I went back to the beach and chose to do EDM #29, Draw something architectural. I love the seafront houses in Deal, especially this blue one. A lot of these houses have flags, I've no idea why, perhaps to welcome ships and boats? An elderly man stopped to chat with me. He was an oil painter, said he envied me for being so quick, as he takes forever. He lives by the beach and can paint the cliffs looking out of his window.
I also did a lot of reading and sleeping and listening to music, possibly all at the same time. Solitude, sometimes, can be wonderful.
Thursday, 16 August 2012
After the sad experience of drawing with the slippery micropencils, I looked at their box and found the magic word 'rechange'. Ah, I thought, they are refills for something, you weren't really expected to draw or write with them like that. So I went to one of my favourite sites for vintage pencils (the only one), brandame pencils, to search for clues. Eventually I wrote to the guy, Bob Truby, who revealed the mystery to me: these were refills for some kind of silver holder. I should have guessed that from the beginning! Anyway, has anybody got a spare silver holder I could have for my pencils? It needs to be very very small indeed.
Wednesday, 15 August 2012
This is a page holder or book clamp, it keeps the book open at the page you want, and it has been a life/time saver during my 20 years + as a book translator. It has kept open more than 100 books for me. It hangs on the wall in my study when I am not working. It's made of brass or similar alloy and it's incredibly ornate, so I drew it with gold and bronze pencils. I don't remember where I bought it, but it has been a most faithful companion, so it must be my favourite tool.
Tuesday, 14 August 2012
For each Everyday Matters challenge, I like to add the challenge of using different art supplies, or combine them in different ways. To me the history of a tool is important. I am deeply animistic, I guess, and I believe history is embedded in the soul of an object. This glass is a tribute to myself and to my friend Diana. I wanted to draw a glass of water because I have been greatly inspired by the Olympics, and I am now on a path to become a gold medallist in Rio (on the astral plane, but still...). I chose soluble graphite and some funny soluble pencils called Grip Colour Magic: with water the blue pencil becomes green and the green pencil becomes blue (what's the point of that, I hear you saying). The brush I used was a birthday present from Diana, she made this brush herself when she was 15. There are so many magical stories in one glass of water.
Monday, 13 August 2012
Ah, a refreshing pear in the summer heat, watching the end of the Olympics and dreaming of a super fit body and one of those six pack abs that those women runners sported with such nonchalance! Unfortunately, every time I pick up a pear a lot of annoying Italian references come to mind:
1) Pinocchio who peels three pears and then, still hungry, eats the peeled skins. Reading Pinocchio was compulsory in school, and it's such a scary story, I still have nightmares about him burning his feet.
2) The Italian saying: "Al contadino non far sapere quant'è buono il formaggio con le pere" = "Don't let the farmer know how good it is to eat cheese and pears together", that my mum and grandma used to repeat at the end of every dinner. They were right, by the way, pears and cheese is a very good match.
3) And, the most highbrow of all, my grandad's favourite quote: "Pera colui che prima osò la mano
armata alzar su l’innocente agnella", from the Italian poet Parini. Of course the word "pera" here means "to perish" and not "pear", the translation being: "The first man who dared raise his armed hand against the innocent lamb should perish". Now, all of these disturbing memories should perish too, so that I can eat the other half of my pear in peace. Do you have that experience? When history stands in the way of spontaneous appreciation? Poor pear, sweet and innocent like Parini's lamb.
Sunday, 12 August 2012
Now, this may seem like a very strange confession. In my life I've inherited clothes from my sister and from some of my closest friends, but I have never bought second-hand clothes. I have a knack for finding new clothes for very little money, they last me forever, so that's that. I never really put much thought into it. Until the other day. I decided that I wanted some more cheap clothes and bought a bundle of 12 tops on ebay for £12, including postage. Not bad. I washed them feeling really happy. But when I was ironing them, I realised they were USED. Used by whom, I started thinking. What was she going through when she was wearing them? Were they attached to happy or sad memories? And why were they so worn out? My clothes never get worn out (perhaps it's the amount of salt I eat that has turned me into stone). Who was this woman? Why did she sell her clothes? Perhaps she thought they were worn out too. And now what, I asked myself, should I welcome these 'strangers' in my life or bring them to a charity shop? I can wear them one time each, I guess, and see if they become mine or keep on staying hers. Or I can draw one of them and definitely make it mine. Here it is, it's quite cute, really.
Thursday, 9 August 2012
Wednesday, 8 August 2012
This is the view from my study. I wanted to contextualise it a bit, so I included in the frame my radiator and my dictionary trolley (what? You don't have one?) The fluffies on top of the dictionaries look very exhausted. Did they go out dancing last night, or are they working too hard? Ok, probably I'm the one who's working too hard.
Tuesday, 7 August 2012
Monday, 6 August 2012
here. He may be ugly to some, but to me he will always be my beautiful Baubau. To be more accurate, he was renamed so by hubby, his first name was Canovecchio. His real name, before I could name him myself, I never knew. It's funny how you never really know anybody, not even your childhood best friend.
Sunday, 5 August 2012
Meet Gromit II. Gromit I died in a crash landing from the kitchen counter. Gromit II is in reasonable good health, except for his dwindling eyesight, so every so often I have to redraw his pupils with a sharpie. He is also always very concerned, about what, I am not sure. Hubby uses this mug to bring me coffee in bed in the morning or in my study when I am working. When the coffee is too hot Gromit's nose turns bright red and both hubby and Gromit show extreme concern that I might burn myself. Careful, they say, it's hot.
Saturday, 4 August 2012
Friday, 3 August 2012
For my second challenge, I skipped ahead to # 265, draw your neighbor. Beach life in Venice has always included very vocal card players (my dad used to be one). They take their games very seriously indeed. A couple of huts down from ours there was this group of players. The lady on the right never plays, but watches the others for hours, quite funny really.
At the back of the first row of huts, and in front of the second row, there's a line of trees. Every single tree was bearing a sign, so my sister explained to me what had happened: people in the second row of huts physically and verbally attacked people from the other rows who were sitting under this line of trees, claiming that the shade was theirs. Eventually the beach management put a stop to the fighting by hanging a sign on each tree that reads, 'All the CAPLI customers can enjoy the shade of the trees'. Only in Italy!