ART: New York city

It seems like my trip to New York was long ago.  It just seems that time flies by faster than ever these days.   I have been swamped with work since day one of my return!  Yes, it is all good news and I am a happy artist!  However, it wouldn’t feel right to jump straight to talking about myself and my art, at least not before discussing the things I learned, in terms of art, in the big apple.

Before crossing the 10,000km distance between the little town I call home (Ascona), and New York city, I knew that art comes in different shapes, sizes, colors, and interpretations.  After all, art is as individual as humans can be; not all art is equal!  I left home open minded.  Yet nothing could prepare me for the pieces of art I saw in New York.  The shows were nothing like I expected them to be:

I found my favorite pieces of art in the Chelsea district.  The area offers art for all art lovers.  Yet, as I found out, the art being offered by galleries is of very high standard and limited to art lovers who enjoy figurative art and portraits.  The best ones for me at least, were the “normal” ones, but the “twisted’ ones were also engaging pieces.  They more I saw a painting with a disliking subject, the more I felt elevated to understanding the meaning behind the first glance.

Watercolor..Agora gallery in Chelsie.

Watercolor piece in one of the many galleries in Chelsie.

Image of the works by very talented artist,

Image of the works by very talented artist, Lisa Yuskavage, whose work isn’t about sexual parts but about how society sees women, and their roles.

A nice portrait painting

A nice portrait painting in yet another gallery in Chelsea.

A painting of Peter, not in the show.

A painting of Peter Munster, an artist participating in the same exhibition I participated in.  AND this painting isn’t called Pinocchio!

Hence, as I reviewed the photos of the pieces I was privileged to see during my visit to NYC, I can conclude that New Yorkers do like skillful artists who can deliver interesting work with a story behind them.


Sketching in New York city!

The sun was shining and the sky was blue on Monday so I started this week painting bit of New York city with my new artist friend, Heidi! We decided to head out to Washington square park.  Heidi spotted this spectacular place a day before our visit.  It was a hot day.  We chose to paint by the fountain where I got a bit more water on me then on my watercolor paper! image image image 

After a sunburn and a few hours of painting, we headed back to the gallery, in lower Manhattan.  There I was lucky to meet Johanna Monitzer, the cultural editor of Kitzbüheler Anzeiger publisher, Austria.  We discovered that we had probably met before as we realized there and then that we had both taken the ferry to visit the statue of Liberty on the same day and on the same hour!

Johanna Monitzer, Rudolph Pigneter, gallery owner, and myself posing with my paintings in NYC.

Johanna Monitzer, Rudolph Pigneter, gallery owner, and myself posing with my paintings in NYC.

The Jane Hotel in NYC: a stay in NYC’s past.

 At last, at my final destination:  NYC!  I haven’t seen much of this famous and enchanting city, but the little I have seen has already impressed me!

I am staying in Manhattan, in a beautiful old building which houses The Jane Hotel, on Jane Street.  The neighborhood seems live and young…modern…a word that contrast the rich history of this area and the very own building I am staying at!

You see, The Jane isn’t an ordinary hotel.  It is a landmark in the city with lots of history.  The most important event it ever hosted was the one in 1912, when  the survivors of sinking ship, Titanic, stayed here while authorities carried out their investigations and such.

The Jane building is not ordinary hotel.  The rooms are tiny and once I entered mine, I felt I was walking back into history, back to the early1900’s when the building was constructed.  The Jane apparently was intended to be a sailor’s home…it is not wonder why I feel like I am staying in an old big boat…

I realize, as I sit here typing away, that my hotel in NY isn’t made of just bricks and mortar, but of history.  If this is how I start my trip, I cannot wait to see what more this beautiful city has in offer!

Corridors to a N Y C past!

Paying a visit to Paul Cézanne.

My own interpretation of Mount Sainte-Victoire.

My own interpretation of Mount Sainte-Victoire.

It was a long overdue visit.  I had admired Mount Sainte-Victoire, and area, for a few years already.  I had never made the time to stop and look around the place the famous painter, Paul Cézanne, called home.  This year I changed that.

Mount Sainte-Victoire is situated in Aix Provence, south of France.  Aix Provence in itself, is a city with a significant historical and cultural background.  To date, it hosts a number of art festivals.  One can fill up an entire stay just going to concerts and dance shows!  Yet, this past week I have managed to stay away from “distractions” to fulfill my dream of stepping into the life of one of my favorite painters.

Cézanne’s route, or road D17, is a small countryside road that takes you to the artist’s favorite painting places.  The hikes and drive are pleasant.  Mount Sainte-Victoire can be seen always.  Yet seeing this landmark all the time gave me an insight into the Cézanne’s obsession with this mountain.  Its beauty unveils with every turn and every angle.

Cézanne’s route however beautiful it may be, cannot top the experience I lived today while visiting the painter’s home.  Although reconstructed, Cézanne’s atelier still injects a healthy dose of inspiration and admiration.  Perhaps these two things cannot be found in the objects within the walls of the house, but in the mere thought of being able to stand in the very room that saw the birth of very many great paintings.

Words cannot describe how honored and privileged I feel now that I have finally had the chance to visit Cézanne beloved home.  I leave Aix Provence inspired!

On the way to Cézanne's atelier

On the way to Cézanne’s atelier.


Finding my way through town.

Stepping into the artist's life.

Stepping into the artist’s life.

Cézanne's house from the garden.

Cézanne’s house from the garden.

Cézanne's mountain.

Cézanne’s mountain.

One of the artist's paintings of the mountain.

One of the artist’s paintings of the mountain.

My own interpretation of Mount Sainte-Victoire.

My own interpretation of Mount Sainte-Victoire.

Flowers on Cézanne's garden

Flowers on Cézanne’s garden.

Cézanne's garden.

New faces

I am sure there are numbers of reasons why it is good to have plenty of people like your facebook page, but for me, having a new follower on my page doesn’t just give me joy, but a great excuse to get down and dirty.  That is, with my tools and clay, of course!

For those who don’t know what I am going on about, I have been working on this collection of small clay faces.  Each face represents a fan, hence each has a name.  Overall, they make up a big and ongoing project I have called, you guessed it:  facebook.

I see my facebook collection grow bigger and bigger with time.  Materializing a number on my facebook/computer screen really gives me an idea of the support and appreciation my fans have for the work I do.  To me, each face represents a person who believes in me.  Words cannot describe how proud (and responsible) that makes me feel!  Yet to cut it short, I can tell you that a new like gives meaning to my long working hours.  A new like encourages me to keep on going!

Below are some of the few pictures I’ve taken during the making of the collection, Facebook – to get back into the main topic, which is the clay faces!  I typically use clay with rough crashed stones, but because these sculptures are so small, I have chosen to use a softer kind of clay.


Though, I must say that no work is ever done in my studio unless I have my tools at hand…or in my hair!

2015-03-18 08.55.21

AND sculptures are never considered finished unless you cook them in the oven.  For now I have my faces drying out in my studio.

facebook faces

As for the moral of this story:  although LIKES are like kisses and handshakes (in the real world), don’t be shy to give a like to a page or product you like.  The receiver surely values your appreciation and time! 🙂

The toymaker: a painting about God, gender, or just creation?

Toy maker

I love art, and when say that, I don’t only mean I love creating it.  I also love to come into contact with fellow artists and their work.
I saw the “toymaker” a year or so after meeting Ronnie Matthey, the painter.  The work of this overly enthusiastic, easy going artist caught my attention that weekend of the New artist fair, in the city of London.  Her work then, reminded me of those of Edgar Degas; they were very French influenced and with many ballet objects.

However, the “toymaker” is one of the many new symbolistic and intriguing works Ronnie has been working on since the day I last saw her.

There are many interesting pieces in her collection but the “toymaker,” in particular, appeals to me greatly because at first glance, it depicts its title perfectly:  a toymaker making his toys.  Yet, looking closely, the irony of a wooden toymaker making real-like toys makes the viewer ponder about creation.  Who is creating who and what, and is the painting at all, about the characters we see, or do we look beyond them?  Could the painter be questioning, instead, inequality issues between the sexes.  After all, the toy is female and the creator, male.  Or could this painting may be representing a contemporary interpretation of our own origins, the creation of Eve?

I tend to believe the toymaker questions creation more than who is creating who or why.  After all, who can say for certain, we aren’t all wooden guided puppets?


My cranky old face!

I probably had the same look on my face, the one grandma always had when she came face to face with a PC, more confused than ever.  I went blank when I heard her asked, “it doesn’t work on my phone, do you have a mobile website?” Say, what?!

I learned then that the cyber world I thought I knew had already changed! I am not talking about years, but months, since I last launched my so-called modern website! So it is. Nevertheless, I am not too old to keep up! :p


My best advice, build your website with HTML5. It works on iPad, android, iPhones, and PCs. Have a lovely day, and thanks for reading!

Dolomiti di Brenta

My heart was beating to full capacity.  Nasty thoughts were invading my head…why on earth had I not decided to stay down the village?  Why was I torturing my legs this way?  Hiking up with dangling things on my feet (actual name…rackets) felt like an agony.  I was walking up to Monte Spinale, all the way down from Madonna di Campiglio.  The plan sounded feasible, after all, I have hiked over 400m elevation before, and without a problem!

As I approached the last turn before hitting flat land, I took a quick glance at what seemed, rocks protruding from the ground.  The Dolomites, like a male great tit in a courtship display, swelled its peaks to deviate my attention from my pain and discomfort.  Suddenly, I felt in paradise.  The Dolomites of Brenta are the most breathtaking mountains I have ever seen.

In the bitter cold I took my camera out to catch a bit of the beauty I was lucky to contemplate.  How lucky we are to live in this beautiful planet, don’t you agree?

As I approached the last turn...

As I approached the last turn…

Mountains getting bigger

Mountains getting bigger

And bigger

And bigger

Closed and personal

Closed and personal

Dolomiti di  Brenta from far and away

Dolomiti di Brenta from far and away

Art International Zurich

“Your work has been accepted,” were the only words passing through my (tired) brain, the day I discovered the jurors in the Art International Zurich had approved my application to participate in the 16th international art fair they are having this year.  I was over the moon!

Every Autumn, galleries and independent artists from all over the world, like migrating birds, make their way to one of the most important and beautiful cities in Switzerland:  Zurich.  The Congress Hall will house a wide range of contemporary artworks which have been carefully selected by its very own committee.  Exhibiting my work along work of other talented individuals in the heart of the historic centre of Zurich has me feeling very accomplished!

What contents me the most about this event is that I will be representing, through my paintings, the beautiful place I call home:  Ticino.  Without its stunning mountains, historical cities, history, and forests, I think I wouldn’t create the art I create!

The Art International Zurich is open to everyone with a passion for culture and the Arts.  “Reflections of Ticino,” and “Ticino through my window,” will both be displaying on the main floor of the hall, stand K27.

Some of the work in display are:

A series of reflections of the city of castles:  Bellinzona.

A series of reflections of the city of castles: Bellinzona.

Val Verzasca's favorite spot, ponte dei salti.  A reflection of it, on the river's rapids.

Val Verzasca’s favorite spot, ponte dei salti. A reflection of it, on the river’s rapids.

The very famous painting of the reflection of San Pietro and the promenade of Ascona.

The very famous painting of the reflection of San Pietro and the promenade of Ascona.

Morcote's promenade.  Image selected for the Art International Zurich catalogue.

Morcote’s promenade. Image selected for the Art International Zurich catalogue.

An interpretation of a little port, in Gandria, leading to lake Lugano at night.

An interpretation of a little port, in Gandria, leading to lake Lugano at night.

A little rustico (house made out of Ticinese stones) in Bosco Gurin in the winter time.

A little rustico (house made out of Ticinese stones) in Bosco Gurin in the winter time.

The typical local fruit in the area of Ticino:  Castagne.

The typical local fruit in the area of Ticino: Castagne.

The place I call home, and its beautiful houses looked from above.

The place I call home, and its beautiful houses looked from above.

If you are in the area and want to say hello, please visit ART INTERNATIONAL ZURICH for more information.  I hope to see you there!!!

The Birch trees of Val Bavona

The Birch trees of Val Bavona

There is something spectacular about Val Bavona, and it’s not just its popular 80 meters high waterfall in the town of Foroglio. Val Bavona offers more than that. There are trails with amazing views, and places where experienced and not so experienced climbers can enjoy some steep mountains. For me, Val Bavona has offered me more than beauty and entertainment: it has given me the inspiration to create a new painting!
The Birch trees of Val Bavona, is now part of my collection: “Ticino through my window.” It depicts a forest of Birch trees along the famous trail of Cristallina. It’s been fun recreating the colors and overall composition of a tiny ecological part of what’s one of the most beautiful valleys in the canton Ticino.