Venetian, Las Vegas

The venetian in Vegas is huge. The corridors form a maze.

Page from my Art Journal: "Lunchtime"

Sketches I took during a couple of days in Bellevue at lunchtime. Fountain Pen with Noodler's ink, several colored ballpoint Bic pens, pencil on Pocket Moleskine. About 20 minutes per page.

Page from my Art Journal: "Bellevue Civica Center"

Sketch of the lobby of the Bellevue Civica Center. Pencil, Bic Ballpoint Pen and watercolors on Pocket Moleskine. About 30 minutes.

Page from my Art Journal: "The Stuff Dreams are Made of"

Doodling away with a Blue Bic Ballpoint Pen. A stream of consciousness straight from subconscious to paper. I wonder what a psychiatrist would read into this. Full size 8"x11" sketchbook. About 45 minutes.

Page from my Art Journal: "Redmond Ridge"

Quick sketch I took while waiting for food at Silver Spoon in Redmond. This less than great view was my view from the restaurant. Bic Ballpoint Pens, Fountain pen for the text on Pocket Moleskine. About 20 minutes.

Page from my Art Journal: "Rock Bottom"

Sketch took at Rock Bottom Brewery in Bellevue, WA, during my lunch break. Bic ballpoint pen on Moleskine. About 45 minutes.

Page from my Journal: "Point Reyes Shipwreck"

Sketch of the Point Reyes Shipwreck in California. Fountain pen with Noodler's Air Corp Blue-Black ink on Pocket Moleskine. About one hour.

Page from my Journal: "Tree"

Just a super quick sketch from imagination. Mostly an experiment with sketching using an Noodler's Ahab Flex Nib Fountain Pen with a Fine Nib and Noodler's Air Corp Blue-Black bulletproof ink, water-brush for the ink wash on Pocket Moleskine. About 7 minutes. I am starting to think that Noodler's bulletproof inks might be bulletproof only after several days of drying. They seem to not be waterproof even after 24 hours. I had the same experience with Bulletproof Black, Heart of Darkness, Golden Brown and now this AirCorp Blue Black. I tried on several different types of paper including Moleskine journals, W&N Watercolor Cold Press Paper and simple Copy machine paper. Same results.

Page from my Journal: "The Lodge"

A scene I sketched at the Lodge in Bellevue Square. Pencil, fountain pen with Noodler's Heart of Darkness ink, watercolor, watercolor pencils and ink wash on Pocket Moleskine. About 30 minutes.

Page from my Journal: "Fall City Hop Shed"

Sketch of the Fall City (WA) Hop Shed, built in 1888. Fountain pens and wash with Golden Brown and Blank Noodler's Ink, pencil, watercolors on Moleskine. About 30 minutes.

Page from my Journal: "Snoqualmie Railway"

Sketch I took in Snoqualmie. Fountain Pens and wash with Golden Brown and Black Noodler's inks, pencil, watercolor on Moleskine. About 1 hour.

Page from my Journal: "Statue of Gandhi"

A sketch of the statue of Gandhi that is in front of the public library in Bellevue, WA. Experimenting with different inks and shadings. I really like the Noodler's Golden Brown ink to make the sketch warmer. Also experimenting with a slightly and quickly suggested urban background. 0.5 mm mechanical pencil with 6H lead, 2mm mechanical pencil with 2B lead, Lamy Safari Fountain Pen with Noodle's Heart of Darkness and Noodle's Golden Brown inks and Tombow markers on Moleskine. About 30 minutes.

Page from my Journal: "Bellevue Marina, Yellow Boat"

A scene from the Bellevue (WA) Marina. 0.5mm mechanical Pencil with 6H lead, fountain pen with Noodler's Heart of Darkness ink, Tombow markers on large Moleskine. About 20 minutes.

Page from my Journal: "Quick Sketches of Passerbys"

Sketching people is always a challenge. People move fast, they walk quickly and change position constantly. I decided to get better at it and sketched a few people on the street. I need to work on this for a while, but it is getting easier. Pencil on A4 Sketchbook. About 30 minutes.

Page from my Journal: "Flag"

A quick sketch of the entry of a building in Bellevue, taken from location looking at the revolving door. It started as a sketch of the flag, and expanded to take more of the context. I really need to work on my people quick sketches; I do not like the result here: her proportions and shapes are wrong and the lines not confident. A work in progress. What I like is the hint of reflections on the floor. I didn't like it when I first drew them, but now looking at it I am pleased enough for a quick sketch. Fountain pen with black noodler's ink, graphite stick on pocket Moleskine. About 10 minutes.

Page from my Journal: "Raw Matter"

Over the years I realized that a recurring theme for me is "tangled" shapes. I find the play of light and shadows in tangled matter to be fascinating. Pencil, Fountain Pen and Watercolor on Pocket Moleskine. About 20 minutes.

Page from my Journal: "Tangled Doodle"

Doodling is a form of meditation that enhances my concentration when I am actively listening and thinking. It is the free expression and representation of whatever is going on around me while I am doing it. It is unplanned and unconstrained. It is a window, open on a moment in time. It is a frozen concept. Pen on Moleskine.

Tuscany, an Unrefined Beauty

Even though I live in the USA, I grew up in Tuscany and I feel very connected to that region of Italy. Growing up there taught me the concepts of what I call: unrefined beauty, orderly disorder, natural synchronicity and time as an artist.

Unrefined beauty is everywhere in Tuscany. It refers to beauty added by imperfections. Walk any little medieval street and you'll find it in every rock, wall, door, window, street, shop and even in the people who blend so perfectly with the environment. Nothing is perfect, but everything is so pleasant to look at. It is the ultimate beauty in the imperfections, charm in the signs of time, profound history that you can feel in every stone and wall as if the energy of the people that were there before was partially absorbed and maintained into their fabric. Just go around and pay attention to the details. Notice the doorknobs, the warned down steps or the accent of the people speaking with the local cadence. Everything works together in a concert of slightly out of tunes instruments that together make a wonderfully rich, unique, charming and enjoyable symphony.

Orderly disorder is also everywhere. No car is parked straight, no line is perfect, nothing appears to be exactly in its place. But everything is. Things, being a bit off balance, end up balancing themselves one against the other and the effect is beautiful. It is a solid balance of forms that, even if perturbed, founds its way back to balance as if it was instructed to do. It is the adjustment of many people focused on the right priorities that makes it possible. In a country where enjoying the moment is important the right amount of order is not perfection. The right amount of order is that solid balance where you can leave things to go enjoy your life, knowing that when you get back they'll still be in the same place.

Natural synchronicity is what I define the harmonious blend of nature and human artifacts. Vines growing in and out of walls and structures. Grass sprouting between old stones. Signs of wear caused by wind and weather. Birds making their home in walls and holes found in human artifacts. It is a blend where nature reclaims a bit of its property, and humans let it happen and enjoy it instead of fighting it at all times. Orderly disorder makes it possible, and nature and humans blend and live together in harmony, like if one was keeping the other in check in a natural synchronicity.

Time as an artist is what I call the constant exposure to art, which makes you an involuntary artist every day. Being exposed to masterpieces of art sculpted in marbles or painted in churches gives you daily time to contemplate the beauty of human creation, the energy expressed in artform and to continue the artistic process where the masters and millions of people before you left it. The artistic process, in fact, continues every time somebody enjoys the sight of a piece of art. It is the inevitable result of the initial artistic creation that adds value to every piece overtime. The more people enjoy an artistic creation, the more value that creation acquires.