Thursday, 15 December 2011
Thursday, 1 December 2011
David Hockney and The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Superficially these two books have nothing in common, but somehow each helped me to understand the other. It's something to do with who you are, who you want to be, who you think you want to be or do, who and what other people want you to be or do. Indecision on what to portray and how to portray it are often the main reason for inertia in creative people. Most often this insecurity is a struggle between who we are and who we think we should be in order to be succesfull, understood, appreciated, loved. This is why at the beginning of my artistic expression I became fascinated by outsider artists, people who follow their muse, be it a god or a need, without worrying about technique, without worrying about pleasing anybody. Just following their call. Outsider artists are incredibly prolific, because they do more and worry less. They also often have the time, but this is another excuse. The moral of these two books, as I interpret it, is: return to your soul, it knows better than anybody else what your destiny is, and your real destiny is always good.
Friday, 25 November 2011
Mixed Media Art magazine is up today. I planned to revive my blog around the same time, writing more about journalling and the techniques I use. Instead I am in the middle of soundproofing the floor in the sitting room and the rest of the flat looks like a place that American Pickers would just love! Piles and piles of stuff everywhere. I spent the day in the bedroom yesterday, feeling like a teenager, one room to study, read, draw, sleep. Having an ipad helped feeling less deprived of tv watching in the evening, and I ended up watching Amos & Andy and other very old, very odd tv programmes. We had dinner in the kitchen upon another pile of junk, listening to a cassette of Los Lobos. It's funny, with all the mp3 players, downloads, etc. the best music we have still seems to be on cassette! Today is the second day of soundproofing and soon I'll go back to the bedroom and find some other way to spend the day. I have a book on interviews with David Hockney... somewhere.
Thursday, 18 August 2011
Friday, 29 July 2011
I've always hated the expression 'a good book', as if anyone wanted to relax and enjoy a bad book. Nevertheless, this is a good book. The author takes you on a complete journey of the human nature starting and coming back to maps, and that is pretty clever. He touches on things that I never particularly thought about, like what are the reasons behind collecting, and he quotes authors who've written on the subject. They say that collecting comes from animistic beliefs, it's a way of surrounding yourself with sacred objects that protect you and inspire you. I wonder if this explains why I keep on buying art supplies that I often never use, but revere as if they held the key to my creativity.
|My shelves full of art supplies|
Now here's a bad book: it is not really a bad book, just sad for me, as I tend to read every book as if it held a piece of a truth higher than mine, as if it was right and I were wrong. It's just the opinions and samples of various artists' sketchbooks and most of the artists seem to see sketches as means to an end. Yet, in my opinion, the means are way more interesting and alive than the ends. Also I seem to be attracted like a magnet to the pencils/charcoal/marker isles of art shops. Those art supplies are my idols, and yet I seem to be told here that they're just ephemeral, that only oil paints or acrylics are the real thing that makes finite, complete artworks.
It makes me cry on my printer, who (sic) is working hard with me to preserve those marks created using transitorial, short lived instruments of unfinished creations.
Friday, 8 July 2011
Tuesday, 28 June 2011
|Landing in Genoa|
Thursday, 16 June 2011
|My take on one of Liu Haisu's paintings|
|flamingo painted with gel pens|
Thursday, 9 June 2011
|Being free with Blendypens|
Thursday, 12 May 2011
Thursday, 21 April 2011
Tuesday, 19 April 2011
|A wonderful piece of land art made with debris from the sea|
Sunday, 3 April 2011
Monday, 28 March 2011
|phone-doodled portraits of 4 famous artists|
Sunday, 27 March 2011
I have been wandering, if not aimlessly, rather soullessly, through meanders and mazes of little sense, searching for that inspiration, or even for that desire for inspiration, that makes my journey through life an exciting and adventurous one. So, in this state of depletion, I entered the library yesterday and found a huge tome, called The Art of Looking Sideways. It is a most irritating piece of work, as it is written in all directions, weighs a ton, tells stories that are too long, and has quotations. But. It suddenly woke me up from my torpor. I can do this too, I thought, play with images, words, type, aimlessly, but now in a positive way, wandering through the same or different meanders, randomly collecting flowers, pebbles, ideas, dreams, obsessions, distortions. And then put it all in a book, a big irritating book that weighs a ton, for my own benefit, or yours or nobody's. But doing it. Perhaps I'll call it The art of doing.
|I discussed this with Diana drinking cappuccino.|
Monday, 7 February 2011
On January 25th my Dad passed away. He was buried in Venice, on the island of San Michele, in his in-laws' family tomb. My granny used to take me to that cemetary as a child to visit grandad. There were toy cans that you would fill at the fountains to water the flowers on the tombs, and tall cypresses, so somber, they looked like arrows pointing at the heavens above. I remember that place as peaceful and dreamy. I hope my Dad has found there the peace he so much deserved. Goodbye, Dad, you will be missed.
Sunday, 23 January 2011
When I am busy with long translations, as I am now, by the end of the day I'm too "worded out" to find the energy to blog or start any creative project. So, it's a time for reflection, in which I lazily flick though art books. The one I'm flicking through at the moment is a colossal volume: Mariscal Drawing Life, and I'm finding eeeerie similarities with some of my stuff:
|Me (before knowing Mariscal)|
Wednesday, 12 January 2011
|The only visible change in Venice is in children's fashion...|
Tuesday, 11 January 2011
Wednesday, 5 January 2011
To celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary we went to see The Big Sleep last night. I hadn't seen an old b&w film at the cinema for I don't know how many years. It's fascinating to see how little we've learned about filmaking since! The lighting was incredible and the settings perfect, every single prop had a reason to exist, such attention to detail. Really amazing. The clothes and makeup were beautiful. I've done a lot of period films as a background artist and we were never given clothes of that fit and quality. But then again not many of us have Bacall's waistline. What were women eating in those days to have such perfect bodies? Or were they eating? Of course in Europe there wasn't a great deal of food going around at that time, but I don't know about America. My grandmother kept a piece of bread from the wartime to show it to me and my sister when we were kids. I understood more about war from looking at that black, sad piece of stale bread then from what I was taught in school.
Monday, 3 January 2011
Before becoming passionate about photography, I had perhaps a couple of film cameras that were strictly used for holiday snapshots. So, after three years of digital photography, I really wanted to go back to basics or, should I say, go to basics for the first time. I got myself a lot of cheap range finders from the 60s, compacts from the 80s, and a few plastic cameras, like a Holga 135 BC and Holga TIM, and had a lot of fun. I showed the results in a talk called "Plastic Francesca", at my camera club in October. You can see more images on my flickr folder called Holga, plastic and cheap cameras. 35mm is back in my life for good, although I will keep on using digital cameras, phones and what not, as well. Film is warmer and film cameras have all got their own personality. That's what I like about them. I also like the fact that they are usually much lighter and faster. You can take a few with you when you go out and if they break, so be it, they only cost a few pounds (or dollars or euros). I am not in any way a purist, though, I scan the film digitally and do as much or as little manipulation as the image requires.
Sunday, 2 January 2011
Regenerator II project. We were all sent an old book discarded from the Bower Ashton Library to alter in any way we wanted. The book I received was about the Chimu culture. The Chimus inhabited the area of Peru now known as Trujillo in 900AD and made the most bizzarre pottery. There were about 100 B&W plates in the volume. I therefore decided to let this guide my inspiration and created an imaginary journey through Peru. I have never been there, but luckily some of my friends, photographers and artists, had, and provided me with various material to play with, including a fascinating diary of a motorbike trip through South America. You can see three pages of my work in the archival pages of Regenerator II, together with the examples of the other artists' work. All of these books are on permanent display, if you happen to go to Bristol. The whole book can be seen on my flickr set entitled My Peru altered book. I worked on this project for a couple of months and it has been an amazing imaginary trip.