It’s summer and we are in Piedmont in Italy. We are far from the seaside. I am here to tell you Olimpic mountains and Bardonecchia beyond ski that is worth visiting. I will use the language of forms and colours to tell you the green mountains, blue sky, fresh air and lingt walls of houses made of typical stone.
What do you imagine when one says “Moscow”? Probably you think about Kremlin, Red Square or St. Basil’s Cathedral… OK, that are the most famous places full of tourists. I will show you another Moscow beyond the Kremlin.
Maybe it sounds strange, but most of the Muscovites does not see Kremlin from the window. An average Moscow landscape is something like this:
The ancient churches and cathedrals standing among the skyscrapers, active and dismantled factories and the high tension cables all around.
Dacha is the name for a country house. It is a seasonal or year-round second home, often located in the exurbs. The noun “dacha”, coming from verb “davat” (to give), originally referred to land allotted by the tsar to his nobles; and indeed the dacha in Soviet times is similar to the allotment in some Western countries, normally free, to citizens by the local government for gardening or growing vegetables for personal consumption. Since some time avery my journey to Russia I visit “dacha” of my family. In autumn the country landscapes are coloured by the red and yellow leaves of the trees.
Usually you will see big and small plats with fruit or vegetables and more in the kitchens of muscovites. These place tell a lot about people who live in there. Here are some still-lifes drawn in different places..
It is one of the most recent and ambitious parts of Moscow. MIBC (Moscow International Business Center), also known as Moscow-City is situated about 4 kilometers (2.5 mi) west of Red Square. Here you will find the headquarters of the banks, web companies like Yandex, Mail.ru, Kaspersky and the luxury apartments and restaurants. But you will unlikely find average muscovites in this major financial centre in Europe.
When you come to Moscow there is no way to avoid the places for postcards and films. Muscovites unlikely come here often because there are a lot of tourists. You are absolutely justified to take some photos with Red Square, Kremlin, University of Moscow and other monuments and places of interest.
Ready to take off
The trip takes almost whole day and consists in waiting most of the time. The time passed standing in ine to check-in, passport control, in boarding zone, in flight for me is an occasion to sketch a chaotic life of the airport and aircraft. By the way, if you want to save time and money make the COVID test directly in the airport. It takes just 1 hour. Here are some pictures of Malpensa (Italy) and Sheremetievo (Russia) airoports:
It’s time to take off and switch off the devices… see you next trip!
p.s. How I did it.
The story of Moscow fall sketchbook 2021 started in April of the same year when my father passed away. Among his belongings I found an almost blanc agenda of 1995. So I decided to use that notebook to tell Moscow as it seen by a muscovite. The pages are covered with transparent acrylic paint to give a right space to the original page format on the background and the sketch in front line.
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“Home made: lockdown in art” is a sketchbook made of more than 30 illustrations 17,5 x 6,5 cm drawn from 10th March to 10th May 2020. Some artworks of this series will be on the “Matite in viaggio 2020” collective in Venice (Italy).
Is it possible to travel even when you stay home to stay safe? Is it possible during the lockdown to go through the home space to go forward? I say “yes” and accept the challenge! My lockdown started 10th march 2020. I kept on sketching all that time. This is the chronicle of my interior journey to the far and close places I have never seen but I would like to.
Don’t miss the limited edition capsule collection of apparel and accessories from t-shirts to phone cases all with the artworks of “Home Made” sketchbook.
Let me introduce my cats. Their names are Susan and Brie and as well as us they shall stay at home for the lockdown. They pass almost all day on the carpet. Looking at them I see the Egyptian sphinxes. There must be a reason why people revere the cats since the ancient times.
It’s Flash-mob time! There are 2 or 3 flash-mobs every day: first we sing to be brave, than we applaud to the doctors, than we dance, than we place music instruments and make noise … It seams to be on carnival of Rio de Janeiro but we are on the balcony of our homes. It is lockdown, there is COVID-19 outside.
Cactus are the unique plants to survive on the balcony that watch south. This little cactus in the spring sun seams to remember its motherland: the desert. It would be great to go their to sketch that surreal lunar landscapes live.
A puddle on the terrace of my home generously left by the huge Turin rain reflects some weeds. It seams to me to see the fishermen houses of Marano Lagunare near Venice reflected in the water.
The face masks are scarce, so I made them for my family. Finishing the last one the memories of my travel to Turkey with my mother back to my mind. I remember the images of belly dancers with the transparent veils on their faces.
On the balcony in a sunny spring day I talk to my neighbour, during the lockdown a balcony became a sort of social club where to meet people and talk awhile. It sems to be in a typical town of south Italy. I have never been to Naples, but I would like to go there one day.
Colors of the wine is the project made of 10 pages of watercolors with red wines of Italy and the stories of the regions the come from. The project will be a part of a special selection at “Matite in viaggio 2020” collective in Venice called “Wine civilization in Italy, in Europe, in the world”.
The project Every wine has its own character, destiny, perfume and colour; the taste comes after. Some wines like Freisa, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese take their names from the wine grapes; other wines like Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Barolo has taken their names from the places whey come from. The landscapes, people, culture and traditions – everything is connected in the amazing harmony. This magic connection between places and wines gave origins to the idea to paint the wine places of Italy with only one colour: the colour of wine.
Piedmont is the region of Italy that gives origins to the great wine grapes. Here Nebbiolo, Barbera, Freisa are grown. Let’s discover their colours and their mother lands with Langa hills running far far away.
Barbera grapes is believed to have originated in the hills of Monferrato in central Piemonte, Italy, where it has been known from the thirteenth century. Barbera del Monferrato takes its name and origins from these antique wine grape.
Bonarda Piemontese, now officially listed simply as Bonarda but also known as Bonarda di Chieri and Bonarda del Monferrato is a red wine grape variety that is grown in the north-western region of Piedmont. Today is found in scattered plantings along the left bank of the Tanaro river near Govone. Bonarda Piemonte is the wine that took its name from this kind of grape.
Freisa is a red Italian wine grape variety grown in the Piedmont region of north-west Italy, primarily in Monferrato and in the Langhe, but also further north in the provinces of Turin and Biella. Freisa is a vigorous and productive vine whose round, blue-black grapes are harvested in early October. Freisa d’Asti takes its name from the grape and the land where it grows.
Tuscany with its reach landscapes from green and blue Maremma to the desert fields near Florence and hills of Chianti region is the land of Sangiovesse wine grape that gives origins to numerous wins from Brunello di Montalcino to Chianti.
Brunello di Montalcino is a red DOCG Italian wine produced in the vineyards surrounding the town of Montalcino, in the province of Siena, located about 80 km south of Florence in the Tuscany wine region. Brunello, a diminutive of Bruno (“brown”), is the name that was given locally to what was believed to be an individual grape variety grown in Montalcino. In Montalcino the name Brunello evolved into the designation of the wine produced with 100% Sangiovese grape.