The dhows of Dubai creek

I have been spending a lot of time in the area of Deira, Dubai.  I can’t have enough of the old city, despite the heat, the crowd, and what many consider:  the “messy” streets!

Yes, Deira is far from being the glamourous Marina or the downtown area….the palm!  Yet many tourists (and residents alike) in my opinion, miss the opportunity to see the authentic Dubai, and where it all began!

I admit, I never thought I would find a lot of inspiration in a city like Dubai but I’ve been proven wrong!  From the my trips to the old souks and Deira itself, I have managed to capture beautiful everyday ordinary times on paper.  My favorite subject is the beautiful dhows in the Dubai creek.

Painting my dhows

Painting my dhows

Although a group of dhows can make a joyous sky like the many instruments in an orchestra, I prefer to isolate each dhow at a time. Each with its own unique details ..

A lonely dhow

A lonely dhow

 

Yet, like once was said:  ” Two is better than one!”  What do you think?! 😊

The dhows of Dubai creek

The dhows of Dubai creek

 

Another Jozef Blok (my own Mr. Blok)

November 30th – the end of the month and the end of many hours of work, sittings, and polishing my little Italian!

This year I chose not to make a case study of a person I know but of one I have only seen in town:  a friendly local chef working a door down the gallery.  His name is not Mr. Blok, neither his first name is Jozef.  Yet, you must wonder why I’ve called this piece “Another Mr. Blok,” and the answer to this question is the story behind this painting.

It was about 4 years ago when I became obsessed with the works of Van Gogh, one of my favorite painters.  I remembered I used to know only his later work:  the starry night, wheat fields, and sunflowers (dead and alive), and his self portraits – the famous Van Gogh’s ear.

Though Van Gogh’s work wasn’t always colorful.  In fact, his early work was gloomy, earthy toned, and on the dark side.  The first transitional – from dark to color- work, is a portrait not many of us know, yet of great significant:  Mr. Blok.  It is a portrait of a black bearded street book seller Van Gogh knew in The Hague.

Jozef Blok *drawing  *5-11-1882  *38.4 x 26.2 cm

Jozef Blok *drawing *5-11-1882 *38.4 x 26.2 cm

It was 3 years ago when I discovered my own Mr. Blok here in Ascona:  a bearded local chef who used to pass by my window on his way to work.  I always wanted to ask him to sit for me but never really had the “nerve”to ask a stranger for such a strange request.  This year I finally did.  I was lucky he didn’t find it unusual to have an artist beg to paint a portrait of his.  He agreed.

“Another Mr. Blok” isn’t a study  of my subject or sitter, but of Van Gogh’s philosophy.  In his eyes, everyone – the postman, the bookseller, the doctor, the prostitute – were of equal value and importance.  With this study, I too stand by this belief.  Not matter where one comes from, what title one holds, what one does…there is always a special story behind a face.

The evolution:

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The beginning.

 

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Taking shape.

 

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The beard.

 

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Background.

 

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The happy ending.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

La mucca al pascolo

There she was.  At last I had found the one.  Although she was not my soul-mate, she was simply, my ultimate and most desirable “subject.”  And what a subject she was!

I have heard her bell not far from the medieval arched bridge, exiting Puntid, in the Calnegia valley.  I felt absurd, chasing the sound of cow bells.  Like the hide and seek game, I was obsessed with trying to figure out where the sound came from.  After all, I was already there, on top of the Foroglio Falls.  My mission was clear.  I had to capture in pencil the biggest oxymoron ever created by me:  a cute beast…a live cow!

I slowly moved in to sit as close as I could to the one cow that caught my eye.  As she chewed her never ending meal, I quickly grabbed my acrylics and started painting.  It was all good till the beast decided she had had enough.  “I’ve been hit, something hurts!”  My body sprang into action.  In a split of a second, I saw myself jump behind a boulder, paints and paper in hand.  I was bleeding and feeling like I had just walked into a nightmare!

Once the bruises and shock subsided, I came down the mountain a happy woman.

To say that “the mucca al pascolo,” is my most special piece of art is an under statement!  Nevertheless, I think I will stick to painting landscapes over moving, live, subjects.

The grazing cow

The grazing cow

A special spot in Canada

Pencils, color pencils, crayons, pens, and erasers. Those were the only things I thought I needed to create a world made entirely by me. I was a content child.

Then I turned 14.

I was living in Canada when I took art seriously. My art teacher introduced me to all sorts of materials and techniques that helped me recreate far away lands. Those were never imaginary places but spots I had only seen in pictures and on tv.

It never crossed my mind to paint Canadian landscapes. I thought there was no one else but Emely Carr, to let Canadians see the beauty and spiritual essence of my beloved Western coast. I also thought there was no one like Lawren Harris to translate the magical secrets of the Canadian Artic, or the Rocky mountains.

It’s not till this summer that I understood my necessity to capture what other well known Canadian artists have already accomplished:  to create a visual poetry of the places that have seen us grow…of the places we call home…of a giant beauty that Canada is!

I chose to paint, as my first Canadian subject, a little lagoon in the outskirts of Banff.  Not only do I think of Banff as a spectacular town (because of its geographical position), but also as a place where I’ve made so many meaningful memories.  This is why one of my special spots in Canada is Banff!

Look me up (!!!):  New Blood Art CANADA:  www.newbloodart.ca

 

 

My first version:   simple in terms of colors, still complex as a subject.

My first version: simple in terms of colors, yet complex as a subject.

 

My second version:  a more complex paintings in terms of colors.  I felt it'd be a shame to omit the wonderful colors of this little lagoon.

My second version: a more complex paintings in terms of colors. I felt it’d be a shame to omit the wonderful colors of this little lagoon.

 

 

 

  

The day “Morning coffee” is gone…

 

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It is time to say goodbye to yet another piece of art created by my very own hands.

The sale of “Morning Coffee” brings joy and sadness all at the same time. This funny feeling does not end at the shaking of hands/dried ink sort of speak. Next week I’m putting the series down and I’m preparing myself to experience both joy and sadness simultaneously.

The memories of hot summer afternoons, overlooking the tranquil waters of Lake Maggiore, sitting under the shade of trees older than history…all those things is what “Morning coffee” is to me.  The three, 1m x 0.70m canvases covered with all sort of patterns recreate the most beloved and visited spot of Ticino:  The piazza of Ascona.  To call the piazza of Ascona “popular” is an understatement.  Every sort of gathering happens in this piazza.  In the past, women are said to have come to the piazza’s shore to do some laundry, but I personally believe there was more chatting and little washing.  It’s in the nature of this spectacular piazza.  It seduces you to leave all shores behind you.  You can’t help but feel the need to love life as you see the peace and the beauty of the lake and its surrounding mountains.

This magical aspect, the one I discovered while sipping the so many latte macchiatos I’ve had at the piazza, is what I hoped to capture in my 3 paintings.  I seem not to be alone thinking I have succeeded in recreating a “happy feel” as soon as one lays eyes on these 3 paintings.

Here is a „last look“ at Morning coffee.  What is the end to long hours of work is a new beginning for yet other amazing paintings of this piazza.  And that’s the joyful part of selling art.  Thank you client!

 

Morning coffee 1.

Morning coffee 1.

Morning coffee 2.

Morning coffee 2.

Morning coffee 3

Morning coffee 3

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The Red Boat of Gandria, Ticino.

I looked through my journal today, to try to find again, the how’s and the why’s,that gave rise to creation of “Red boat.”  This is what I found:

“Red Boat” will be part of my collection, “Ticino through my window.“  Today I discovered a small red boat in the port of Gandria, Ticino. Its beautiful red color wasn’t the only thing that demanded my attention, but also the gentle motion by which it rocked backwards and forward. A motion that made a squeaky sound to the touch of a tree branch just resting next to the boat.  “It looks as if they’re playing,“ I heard my inner voice saying.  “Perhaps the boat likes to be tickled by the arm of the tree, and that squeaky sound is the sound of the boat’s laugh!“ I smiled big. I walked down to the water, grabbed my glass from my backpack, grabbed my watercolors, and started sketching these funny playmates.

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I unhooked this painting, took one last look at it, and said:  “So long!”

“Red boat is going to Australia to be appreciated and pampered by two happy new owners.  I couldn’t have asked for more!