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And We Did with Anais Nin

A reflection on the habit of keeping and collecting objects,
particularly rife in my family, inspired by a book called
“Looking in Junk Shops” which my father gave to my mother
for Christmas in 1963. She certainly did. One of her great
pleasures was buying all sorts of bits of china, often chipped
or cracked which she mended and used in her paintings.
A contrasting point of view from Anais Nin serves as a bookmark.


Tapirulan time again

Back on the magic carpet again (more fun than conveyor
belt and much more fun than treadmill!), this time off to
the Garden of Eden of all places! It's hard to believe that
a year has passed. Actually I nearly didn't make it to
number 9 because I've been busy but, luckily I squeezed
in, through the giant box hedge, at about 8.30pm on the
last day - here's mine, showing the empty garden that
everyone has left, while the other 700 or so are here:


'Piano piano' as they say here

Here's what's been happening recently in
Piazza Leonardo da Vinci:
I'm working on the map and key to the first 99 things,
there are several comments on the Politecnico blog
( and Ivana has
started making a video!!
Meanwhile, back in the square, some of the numbers
are fading, others are practically hidden by beautifully
coloured autumn leaves and some are as bright as the
day we put them there!
This must be 'work in progress'.


New commission

For a wedding this time, on the 4th October.
A present of two rather beautiful quotes.
Viva gli sposi!!


Outdoor Housework and the Secret to Well-behaved Knees

There was more of this than I anticipated, housework that is!  

How I made it through the 2 weeks!
And we lent out our chairs every so often too


We've done it!

Two weeks later and the job in Piazza Leonardo da Vinci is
finished. Here are the photos to prove it (-: I can hardly believe
it myself). A huge thank you to Antonietta, Francesca, Davide
and Pietro!! And of course to our sponsor, Marino for the paint.
It was really hard work and really good fun too!
So interesting to get live feedback, meet so many different types
of people and experience the difference between the two halves
of the square too. And today it felt very strange not getting up and
rushing off there but going into the studio instead.

thanks Antonietta for the photos


Come and say hello

More about this later, but yesterday we started
working on the Piazza and got to number 9, which
means we'll probably be there until the middle to end
of next week, so, come and say hello!!
thanks Luca for the photo!


Some of the recipes...

Here's the whole piece which left for its new home
yesterday evening. Now I can't wait to see it there and
experience the (-: lively) Octopus with Potatoes!


At the seaside!

Well, back in Milan now actually, but avoided getting burnt
with Bjobj 30 and 50 factor suncream, which I discovered
while drawing the after-sun for Gardenia in July.
Each month they write about beauty products with a
common ingredient.This is Viltellaria paradoxa from Africa,
shea or karité.


"1000 things to do..."

Well, actually it's "1000 cose da fare..."
as we're here in Milan (-:
Tomorrow morning we start on our
gargantuan task of writing all over
Piazza Leonardo da Vinci, or nearly all over
it - yet to be defined exactly how much
we'll be covering! Here are the Marino cards,
ready to take away. Our thanks to Giancarlo
and Martina Marino who have been incredibly
generous with the paint for this project!

Marino Paint & Wallpapers, Piazza Risorgimento 10, 20129 Milano


Pupi Solari

I was very excited to be asked to participate in the book
project celebrating Pupi Solari's birthday recently.
Here are the pieces I did, one of the wonderful house and
garden in Liguria and the other showing a dinner party with
all Pupi's favourite food, friends and family!


Last night - business cards went like hot cakes!!

That's good, we can soon print some more!
Thanks so much to all of you who came and to
Orti&Commenda for the organisation and delicious
aperitivo; despite the rain it was a fun evening.
I have also since discovered that the maps
will be up until mid-June, for anyone who didn't
make it last night.

Business card for every occasion - Simonetta Rocco


Viaggiare mangiando 2

Aperitivo next Wednesday at Orti&Commenda
in via Orti, Milan, from 6.00pm - I'm showing some
of my my Saturday maps for La Repubblica - looking
forward to seeing you there! Here's the invitation,
designed by Simonetta Rocco:


European wine

This is the piece about white grape varieties - I'd like
to do red too, but as there are none in Luxembourg,
it wasn't an immediate priority! And as I was saying before I
mysteriously deleted it, due to an airport strike in Milan, I had
a whole extra day wandering round Luxembourg, walking up to
the modern art gallery MUDAM, as well as a delicious dinner
with Marco, Andrea and Francois, a charming Parisian who was
visiting them for the weekend.

Some pictures of the opening:

Back from Luxembourg where the exhibition went really well!
Thanks to Marco, Andrea, Simonetta, Saverio, Donata, Ivana, Daniele, Vincenza and everyone else who helped make it happen.
Here are some photos, more on the way.



My pictures just left for Luxembourg in 2 huge wooden boxes
and I'm feeling hugely relieved. I think I may even take the afternoon
off, specially as it's my birthday today! My only regret is that I made
such a pig's ear of writing on the big packing case - a classic opportunity
to do a bit of impromptu but interesting lettering but I miscalculated
altogether - never mind, it was eight o'clock in the morning after all.


Gardenia magazine, April issue

and these are the 12 10x10cm tiles

I'm delighted that Gardenia magazine has pubblished an article
about a series of tiles I recently designed for Bardelli.
I have worked for Gabbianelli and other companies in the Ataeco
Group for quite some years now; first as a graphic designer and later
learning to paint directly onto the raw tiles - a fascinating process - thanks
to the teaching skills and patience of Amalia Garufo who ran the
hand-decorating department for many years.


Life in the country_drawing it, not living it

La Repubblica today, amongst other jobs and
preparations for the Luxembourg exhibition.
Two weeks since I left the studio, never
mind the city! Still it's fantastic to have the work
and I'm booked in for a break next
weekend at Sunkyung Cho's workshop,
organised by Debbie Bibo at Signs and Lines.
It's about story telling... who knows...
I'm still feeling good after Chris Haughton's
at the end of last year!


Call for European wine labels!!

More about the exhibition in Luxemburg, very exciting!
The opening will now be around the middle of April because I'm
doing ALL new work for it, on the subject of...guess,
and I would like to ask for some help.
I need to find wine labels from 10 European countries by mid-February
so that I can finish the pictures by mid-March.
If you would like to participate please post one or two wine labels
(more if you have them of course) to me in my studio:
via Lomellina 23, 20133 Milan
and I will make you part of the project - not sure how yet, but I've just
come out of the meeting so need to work on this part ((-:
Thank you!!


Bathrooms, beef, and bread-and-butter pudding

I’ve spent the last week in the bathroom, (-: apart from a “scappata”
to Asiago for La Repubblica’s map of course) professionally speaking that is.
I’m working on two new jobs and both are about beauty products and
bathrooms. So over the weekend I’ve been having a break, first in Melbourne
Australia on a brilliant blog I recently came across called Let’s Get Fat Together,
I only now wish I lived there and could sample some of the places. I'm not a great
carnivore, but that steak looks so good and the Tataki on a pink salt block makes
me think I may be living in the wrong country...
After that I made a bread-and-butter pudding for the first time in years and thought
of the wonderful homely puddings I used to eat at my grandmother’s in Yorkshire.
After roast or boiled meat and veg. with Yorkshire pudding if it was beef, there was
always a pudding, either rice, semolina or the more exotic tapioca, frogs' spawn to
us. The best part was chipping away at the empty serving dish to eat the last of
the delicious crunchy skin. I seem to remember quite a lot of discussion about
who was going to do this.

possible brushes