Still Painting?

Are you still painting?
It is a question I fear, and every time it is proffered, I answer it with a fake confidence I am never proud of. Of course, I say, of course…

Admitting your life is less than splendorous seems a sin nowadays, in a world of photoshopped images, and self-published lies. So I fake it too, telling all, and myself, what everybody wants to hear, it’s all well. Then I place a good picture on social media et voilà, everybody’s satisfied.

It has been months since I touched a brush, a pencil, and this bothers me greatly. It has been years since I squeezed a piece of clay through my fingers, and I miss it. I miss Art like I miss God listening to my prayers.

Faking happiness can be lethal. Slowly creeping in and settling as normal, sinking into lower and lower levels of consciousnesses, it eats your confidence one little bite at a time. Fake happiness is offensive to those who receive it and especially to those who pretend it.

But like a glass too full, my anxiety finally spilled a word I never said before. I’m switching off, I said. It resonated in my head the whole day, and call it what you like, pride, survival, desperation, I grabbed onto it and didn’t let it go, repeating it again and again in my mind until it gave me images, stills in black an white. And that familiar feeling of wanting to tell this story. Where is my brush..

My faults, common to many, are wasting time like water and placing aside what matters to me most. Storytelling Is what I love best and what feeds my soul. So, before this one starves to death I better stop feeling sorry for myself and get back to the table that nourishes me.

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Stai ancora dipingendo?
È una domanda che temo, e ogni volta che viene offerta, rispondo con una falsa sicurezza di cui non sono mai orgoglioso. Certo, dico, ovviamente…

Ammettere la tua vita sia meno che splendida pare un peccato al giorno d’oggi, in un mondo di immagini ritoccate e menzogne auto-pubblicate. Quindi anch’io, fingo a tutti, anche a me stesso, quello che tutti vogliono sentire, va tutto bene. Poi metto una bella foto sui social media et voilà, tutti sono soddisfatti.

Sono passati mesi da quando ho toccato un pennello, una matita, e questo mi infastidisce molto. Sono passati anni da quando ho stretto un pezzo di argilla tra le dita, e mi manca. Mi manca l’Arte come mi manca Dio che ascolti le mie preghiere.

La falsa felicità può essere letale. Insinuandosi lentamente e affermandosi come vera, sprofondando giù e più giù nei livelli inferiori della coscienza, consumando la tua sicurezza un piccolo morso alla volta. La falsa felicità è offensiva per coloro che la ricevono e specialmente per coloro che la fingono.

Ma come un bicchiere troppo pieno, la mia ansia ha finalmente versato parole che non ho mai detto prima. Mi sto spegnendo, ho detto. Mi risuonò nella testa per tutto il giorno, e lo chiamalo ciò che vuoi, orgoglio, sopravvivenza, disperazione, l’ho afferrato e non l’ho lasciato andare, ripetendolo ancora e ancora nella mia mente finché ha partorito immagini, foto in bianco e nero. E quella sensazione familiare di voler raccontare questa storia. Dov’è il mio pennello …

I miei difetti, comuni a molti, sono sprecar tempo come acqua e lasciare da parte ciò che più conta per me. Raccontar storie è ciò che amo di più e ciò che nutre la mia anima. Quindi, prima che questa muoia di fame, è meglio che la smetta piangermi addosso e torni alla tavola che mi nutre.

 

 

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Old To New

Painting on cheap canvas is a waste of art. This will soon split, rip or crumble; not a product a collector will want to invest in. I buy good quality primed canvas by the roll; good canvas is not that expensive when bought in bulk. It’s an investment at once, but easily saves me thousands of dollars once I have used it all.

Canvases of very large size need good quality stretchers that will not break when pulling canvas on them, or warp with time. But smaller size canvas can cope with lighter stretchers, especially if planning to frame your artwork; recycling old and cheaper canvases is a good way to save you some money.

The two canvases in the video I have collected from the rubbish, but I do advice to not recycle stretchers that have been out in the rain as these will most likely warp.

 

 

Facing Rejection

The artist must be the first critic of his own work and this first and honest judgement should lead his/her entire artistic career. Sadly, the rest of the world may not agree with the artist’ s opinion, and that matters because from public approval depends the artist’s financial independence, and the making of more art.

Enter the art prizes. As once again my work has not being chosen among the finalists I am truly disappointed, as I was counting on some good fortune. Then I compared my work with the selected ones [how low have I fallen] and have had to accept that… how can I say this nicely… I’m obviously knocking at the wrong door! So I told myself to ‘shut up, cheer up and keep doing what you do’, because I love what I do, and only what I love is worth doing, despite any rejection, despite any dismissal.

Well, here it is, my submission to this year’s Sulman Prize.

Thy Kingdom Come - Sandro Nocentini
Thy Kingdom Come [Love, Wisdom, Prayer] oil on board 245×120 cm.

Angels’ Wings

Man found some Angels’ wings and thought of wearing them, but never was made for flying, and only kept pretending he could take off, like a child in a fantasy game.

God asked the Angels not to help this time and when Man insisted of wearing those wings, it soon became obvious that the weight the Angels had held so far was humanly unbearable.

Man insisted in being strong enough and God patiently waited for him to keep trying and grow through the pains of failure and success.

Angel’s wings are heavy as they carry all the tears of fear and joy, all the births and deaths, and all the stories this world has ever seen. Those wings were indeed too heavy for Man to fly even though he tried and tried again.

Under the continuous strain Man found hard to even stand. God then allowed the Angels to help if ever a humble prayer would be heard from his heart. And happily they did.

Man got up on his feet again, but distracted by pride he thought he did it on his own. The angels then had to let go of the wings whose weight brought him on his knees again.

Now Man is still there, folded under the sorrow that God once allowed the Angels to carry for him.

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Sandro Nocentini – Angels’ Wings, 2017

Ali d’Angeli

L’Uomo trovò delle ali d’angelo e pensò di indossarle, ma siccome non era fatto per volare, si mise a fingere il decollo, come un ragazzino in un gioco di fantasia.

Dio chiese agli Angeli di non aiutare questa volta e siccome l’Uomo insisteva nell’indossare quelle ali, divenne presto evidente che il peso gli Angeli avevano finora retto fosse umanamente insopportabile.

L’Uomo insistette di essere forte abbastanza e Dio attese pazientemente che questi continuasse a provare e crescere attraverso il dolore dei fallimenti e dei successi.

Le ali d’Angeli sono pesanti poiché reggono tutte le lacrime di paura e di gioia, tutte le nascite e le morti, e tutte le storie questo mondo abbia mai visto. Quelle ali erano infatti troppo pesanti perché l’Uomo riuscisse a volare, non importa quante volte ci provasse.

Indebolito dal continuo sforzo, l’Uomo trovò difficile anche lo stare in piedi. Dio allora permise agli Angeli di aiutarlo se mai un’umile preghiera fosse udita dal suo cuore. E così questi fecero.

L’Uomo si alzò di nuovo in piedi ma distratto dall’orgoglio pensò lo avesse fatto da sé. Gli Angeli quindi dovettero lasciar andare le ali il cui peso lo spinsero di nuovo in ginocchio.

Ora l’Uomo è ancora lì, piegato sotto il dolore che Dio una volta permetteva agli Angeli di portar per lui.

Charcoal and Nudes

Exploring my love for the body language I approach it once again with one of my favourite mediums.

Charcoal allows me to search, push and caress.

The old marks impossible to erase, like the scars that make us who we are.

10 Short Stories

In an old drawer I found some writing that I intended for children even before my beautiful ones were born. Thanks to digital possibilities, finally they have been edited and published in an e-book. I also enjoyed illustrating them with quick and expressive sketches.

 

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With the intention to entertain our children and educate them to respect our pets, these are short stories to help families and classrooms discuss the behaviour of our domestic animals and their welfare.

 

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Ebook available from Amazon and iBooks stores.

 

The Dog With No Name, and other short tails is now available for purchase on Amazon and iBooks. Only available in digital form, for now, this collection of short stories is ready for your Kindles, iPads and tablets.

Please be aware that the title above also includes the short story “The Blue and Muffin Dress”.

 

 

 

The truth in a Sketch

A sketch is the quickest response to a feeling. The truest expression of the artist. By adding work on it, it will stiffen, loose veracity and become fictitious. In most cases it will loose half of its initial life.

In a new series of works I’m trying to stop at the sketch.

gesso and charcoal on wood, 60×60 cm.

The City That Rises

“I work a lot but don’t seem to finish. That is, I hope what I am doing means something because I don’t know what I am doing. It’s strange and terrible but I feel calm. Today I worked non-stop for six hours on a sculpture and I don’t know what the result is… Planes upon planes, sections of muscles, of a face and then? And the total effect? Does what I create live?  …”
Umberto Boccioni 1912 

“Io lavoro molto ma non concludo, mi sembra. Cioè spero che quello che faccio significhi qualche cosa perché non capisco cosa faccio. È strano ed è terribile ma sono calmo. Oggi ho lavorato sei ore consecutive alla scultura e non capisco il risultato… Piani su piani, sezioni di muscoli, di faccia e poi? E l’effetto totale? Vive ciò che creo?”

Sandro Nocentini