HELP: Have You Seen These Paintings?

I was contacted by Craig with the sad news that many of his belongings have been stolen from a storage unit in Albury, NSW. Among all missing things are also two artworks I painted about 25 years ago .

Dated 1994 and 1996 ‘The Embrace’ and ‘Anna at La Perouse are both painted with oil on canvas, and their size should be 70x100cm approx. I didn’t use to keep detailed info on my work back then, or take hi-res photos but the images below should be good enough guide for anyone to recognise them.

If you know anything about them, please let me know through my website contact page. I will be happy to gift one of my small works to thank those who provide us with the information which leads to the location and return of these paintings.


‘The Embrace’, oil on canvas
70×100 cm ?
also signed, titled and dated [1994 ?] at the back
‘Anna At La Perouse’, oil on canvas
100x70cm ?
also signed, titled and dated [1996?] at the back

It Starts With A Feeling

It starts like that… not with an idea, but a feeling, and whilst trying to picture it, it takes life, and details keep coming forward like a forgotten memory.

These are the stories we shouldn’t forget to tell.

Comincia cosí… non con un’idea, ma un impressione, e creandone un’immagine, questa prende vita, e dettagli vengono fuori, come memorie dimenticate.

Queste sono le storie non dovremmo dimenticar di raccontare.

Finding Answers

Sitting down in silence I take my time to look at it, when somebody breaks the spell to ask “how’s it going?”

I can’t find the words to answer that, and paint another canvas instead.

Everyone’s Asking, 2019 oil on canvas 90x70cm – unfinished

Stay loose …

Very often I love the first draft of a painting for its drawing-like qualities, its spontaneity… Too often I finish a painting but end up losing its initial freshness. Once again I try painting fast, refraining to stop and think, avoiding to clean up…

Painting freely …

There is a bunch of colour tubes I must get rid of. Bought long time ago, they are drying up, or are colours I don’t enjoy, like pink. Every once in a while I force myself to get these out and use them, just to get rid of them.

As a warm up towards a new series of works I will experiment for a few weeks with colours, shapes and lines… some works will survive the exercise, others will be painted over when dry.

Because I’m painting with no expectation, I paint freely, like scribbling away or drawing without a goal, and like ghosts, forgotten stories come out of nowhere, mirroring my life and others’.

In My Studio, March 2019

Ci sono tubi di colore di cui mi devo liberare. Comprati molto tempo fa, si stanno indurendo, o sono colori che non mi piacciono, come il rosa. Ogni tanto mi sforzo di tirarli fuori e usarli, giusto per sbarazzarmene.

Verso una nuova serie di lavori sperimenterò per alcune settimane con colori, forme e linee … alcune tele sopravviveranno, ed altre saranno riusate, quando asciutte.

Perché dipingo senza pretese, dipingo liberamente, come scarabocchiando o disegnando senza destinazione, e come fantasmi, storie dimenticate sorgono dal nulla, rispecchiando la vita mia e di altri.

Leaving Doors Open

Like doors locked shut, some artworks won’t let you in.

I firmly believe in the artist’s duty to create works able to engage with the viewers, soliciting, questioning, suggesting … By abstracting I aim to engage, and allow everybody to find their story in mine.

Sandro Nocentini – Show Me The Way, oil on board cm122x122

Come porte chiuse a chiave, alcune opere d’arte non ti lasciano entrare.

Credo fermamente l’artista debba creare opere in grado di aprirsi allo spettatore, sollecitare, mettere in discussione, suggerire … Tramite l’astratto intendo interagire, e permettere a ciascuno di trovare la sua storia nella mia.

Lasciando porte aperte …

This Festive Season

As Christmas comes closer, every year I resent having to explain that shopping frenzy and keeping up appearances do not interest me in the least.

If you are reading this, chances are you already know how strongly Biblical traditions influences my artwork… story after story I try to filter their essence and offer it again, my way. Christmas is certainly the best known of these stories, and as I wanted to tell it once again, I fast painted three small images together, next to each other, and enjoyed watching as the same story in each canvas grew slightly different …

Yes, instead of Claus, the Saint Patron of shopping centres, I choose to celebrate the birth of Baby Jesus… as well as the child we were, each of us, with dreams and possibilities we may have forgotten or pushed aside.

My wish, this special season, is for everyone to take a moment and remember the original story: the Child that came to bring us together with Joy, Love and Hope.

Let’s not fall prey to shopping frenzy, but focus on how to truly celebrate this Special Time with the ones we love.

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Mentre il Natale si avvicina, ogni anno risento del dover spiegare che la frenesia dello shopping e le apparenze Natalizie non mi interessano minimamente.

Se stai leggendo questo, è probabile che tu già sappia quanto fortemente le tradizioni bibliche influenzino le mie opere … storia dopo storia cerco di filtrare la loro essenza e offrirla di nuovo, a modo mio. Il Natale è certamente la più nota di queste storie e, siccome volevo raccontarla ancora una volta, ho dipinto assieme e velocemente tre piccole immagini, una accanto all’altra, e mi sono divertito a guardare come la stessa storia in ogni tela è alfine leggermente diversa …

Sì, invece di Babbo Natale, il Santo Patrono dei centri commerciali, scelgo di celebrare la nascita di Gesù Bambino … così come il bambino che eravamo, ognuno di noi, con sogni e possibilità che forse abbiamo dimenticato o messo da parte.

Il mio desiderio, questa stagione speciale, è per tutti di fermarsi un momento e ricordarsi della storia originale: il Bambino venuto per unirci con Gioia, Amore e Speranza.

Sconfiggiamo la frenesia dello shopping e concentriamoci invece su come celebrare sinceramente questo periodo speciale con quelli che amiamo.

Spontaneous Sketches

Nothing is better than spontaneous drawing to allow new stories coming to life.

On my way to painting, I open my sketchbook and give it a go. It just happens, one image after the next. Some good, some average, some.. not.

Niente batte il disegnare spontaneamente, per dar vita a nuove storie.

Prima di mettermi a dipingere, apro il mio quaderno e mi butto. Succede, un’immagine dopo l’altra.  Qualcuna buona, altre cosí cosí, altre… no.

One Seagull

I always think of you when I see a lone seagull – is this one Jonathan Livingston? I wonder – and the day you gave me that little book.

And you said:

“… because being different doesn’t mean being wrong.”

Ti penso sempre quando vedo un gabbiano da solo – sarà questo Jonathan Livingston? penso – ed il giorno mi desti quel libricino.

E dicesti:

“… perché essere diverso non vuol dire essere sbagliato.”

Finding Next Story

Paintings come as a feeling first. This one, before I understand it, responds to no words, or colours.

Only when drawing I discover the story I was meant to tell … and like in a mirror, I see details I didn’t expect.

I quadri vengono prima di tutto come una sensazione. Questa, prima di capirla, non risponde a nessuna parola o colore.

Solo quando disegno, scopro la storia che dovevo raccontare … e come in uno specchio, vedo dettagli che non mi aspettavo.

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.


Ma dipingi?

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.

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.