Differences and a special conversation

Two-towersI’m starting to get to know my new surroundings and sometimes it comes as a surprise how different architecture can be. Like these two towers above: on the left an Arabic tower in Sicily ( which has seen better days) by a tuna fishery and on the right  the beautiful Saxon tower of St Michaels in Oxford. They’re both beautiful but in different ways…

I caught one of the last days of the wonderful exhibition at the Bodleian library called ‘Treasures of the Bodeleian library’. Superb collection of painted manuscripts displayed unfortunately ( and obviously) behind glass and in a very dark room. The stunning original illustration by Oxford professor and writer J.R.R Tolkien named ‘Conversation-with-Smaug’ from the book the ‘Hobbit’ to me was the crown of the exhibition. Having looked at this picture over the years and loving the book so much it was emotional to see it in the flesh. Not bigger than A4 and painted with ink and watercolour with the intensity and charisma of a masterpiece. How vividly the malice of the dragon is dipicted whilst hoarding the pile of gold, how lovely the movement of the bats and the runes carved on the pot in the foreground. A whole personal world is illustrated here, which, I think, is the magical telling only great illustrators can create. I wish they had produced a nice print of it as I would have certainly bought it.


Absent for a reason and a lovely gift

I’ve been away from my blog not for luck of ideas, inspiration or simply laziness ( as it sometimes happens) but simply for the fact  that after 18 years of living in the same place, same old house, for various reasons we decided to move to another part of the Uk: the Oxford area that is. To be more precise to the idyllic Cotswolds with its wonderful honey coloured stone cottages glowing magically in the light. It has been an emotional time as times of changes are, but particularly for me as I’m very attached to my home. A home which we molded and smoothed over the years to the point of obsession and that it has always felt like a glove: soft and beautiful and a nearly perfect fit… We’re still moving our things over to this new place and my studio is coming along nicely: it’s a bit bigger and very inspirational…

These are some images of where I live and what I see on my walk to and back from the town.

Yesterday I received a wonderful gift from my always inspired friend Beatrice: her latest book published in French and Italian by Helium and Topipittori. This time aimed at a much younger audience and with delicate illustrations alternating a new use of white to sketch like drawings simple and sofisticated. A story to be read at bed time with your little one and if you don’t have one well this book is definetely for you…A-gift