Stains on a drawing can ruin a project.
Or they can be the subject of the design. It depends on your point of view.
In the life of each of us, unexpected events happen, stumbles, large and small disasters, overturns, scratches, falls, tumbles. In every life this happens.
In some lives, one prefers to stop and grumble, to complain about that “coffee spilled on the sheet” (in a symbolic sense). And you miss the opportunity to find the gaze of beauty, imagination, creativity.
The important thing is to bring beauty into our eyes, not to waste energy complaining and looking for opportunities for transformation wherever they are, even in the most unexpected events.
But let’s go in order.
Because I’m talking about drawn stains.
It’s a sunny day, one where the energy is completely absent and it’s hard to even think.
Usually in the studio I can forget fatigue, nervousness, heat.
So I decide to go and draw, without a precise subject. Just to move my hands.
In my artistic routine I don’t draw every day. Sometimes I draw all day, sometimes I don’t draw anything for a whole day.
If I don’t have a specific project, I draw for the sake of training and nothing more.
That day is so hot that I decide to draw to ease the tension and I bring a cup of coffee with me.
Coffee can help me find some energy.
But I move my hands badly and the cup falls on the paper.
The coffee becomes a huge stain, floods the whole sheet and is absorbed by the paper.
The colored stain expands over three-quarters of the paper sheet.
I don’t get nervous, I don’t have the strength.
I look at the coffee stain and think about how to exploit that shape.
I immediately notice a very precise human shape and decide to draw the stain.
Have you ever used a disaster to fix the situation?
It happened to me at my high school graduation, the subject was architecture.
The six-hour task was to design a motorway restaurant.
I was in the final decoration phase, I had the inks in front of me and I was about to colour the facade of the project.
It was an hour before the project was delivered and in an instant I dropped the red ink on the facade I was drawing!
A huge disaster, little time to repair the damage and a lot of panic.
I remembered a trip to Ischia and the colored tiles on the houses of the islanders and I decided to cover the stain with these tiles.
In an hour I decorated the whole facade that otherwise would have been quite anonymous and at the examination the architect complimented me on the original idea.
Stains are a resource.
At this point, if I had exploited a disaster years ago, I could do it now.
So let’s go back to now.
I take the watercolour markers, the black pens, and I start drawing over the stain intrigued by what I can get.
The stain isn’t dry yet, and I’m having a little trouble drawing on it. The pens stop, they can’t trace the color.
But I don’t want to wait and I change colors until I find an alcohol–based ink that works well over the stain.
The face in profile takes shape, as well as the walking leg and the one on the back completely to draw.
I add yellow, purple, I change three types of black.
I draw a backpack, the feet. The human figure becomes a girl walking in the mountains.
The human figure walks alone, the stain of color has come to life, now it is no longer part of me but lives on the paper.
The stain lives on the Paper sheet and becomes a drawing.
As soon as I dropped my coffee on the paper, I decided to film the trial.
I wanted to stop the moment to study other “random” drawings I might do in the future.
Starting from a stain means challenging randomness and uncertainty, a great challenge for those who draw, because there is nothing structured.
I think I will use other disasters like this one, throwing colour on the paper.
I took advantage of this to reopen my YouTube channel, where there are videos that have been stationary for some time.
This channel was only stopped because of my laziness, because years ago I opened this channel for the MoMA courses I was following online.
There are in fact small videos created for those courses, collections of drawings and drawing tests with the iPad. And a couple of years ago I added videos dedicated to my scarves.
This time a stain made me think of a change of direction.
I want to create videos that stimulate your creativity and above all make you curious.
The stain has awakened the passion for communication on YouTube.
This is my channel, would you like to follow me? I think you’ll enjoy it, because I have a list of things to do between now and Christmas that might be useful to you.
We love disasters on paper, we love uncertainties and jumps in the dark.
That’s what art is: you never know where you’re going and you’re scared, but when you arrive in an unknown place with colors, it’s almost always much better than you imagined.
Now watch the video and make a good coffee, then drop it on the paper and show me what interesting work you have created, I’ll be waiting for you.
(If you want to read the story in Italian, click HERE).