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Hello everybody!! I hope you had all spent a beautiful summer or, even better, an interesting one! Mine was good enough :). I managed to have a long break from everything, so that my right hand could  completely heal. I haven't had a break so long since the high school years!!!
Maybe this is why I feel like September is a new year start!!!
And as I always do at the beginning of a new year ... I've started a new diet!!! As you can guess the enthusiasm for such healthy things does not last very much!!! ;D  Shame on me!!!
Well this is year, along with the diet, I have also begun jogging. I manage to run for about 5 minutes before collapsing!
Best part of this training is that I am making friends with all the dogs which I meet at the park where I go for jogging! They are so funny!!! I hope one day to afford a pet myself!!!

Let's see if this time these new healthy proposals will last at least until the next month!!!

If not I will try to console myself with an old saying of my town "chiattizzi 7 bellizzi" that is "fat gives you 7 beauties"!! In the old days, moreover, the only people who were fat were the rich one, so being fat meant to be rich and so even more appealing...that is why I added the coin card in the bottom illustration!!! By the way the 7 coin card is also called by my place "7 bello" that is "7 the beautiful"...

seven ... the beautiful by malanotte

Bye bye!!!
Hello!! I thought it might be nice to show the real face... behind the blue bearded dwarf!!!

me by malanotte

Sometimes I am literally dragged away from my desk ...and brought into the wood for a walk! My partner says that it is good for health, but I suspect he's trying to get rid of me!!! Unluckily for him, I always manage to find my way back!!!
Last time we went nearby the Como lake.

It was a cloudy day, but the panorama was beautiful all the same!

20170430 164816 by malanotte

About an hour later, we reached the site of these ancient tombs, called "avelli".

avello di negrenza by malanotte

These tombs go back to the VI century d.C. They are east-ovest oriented. They have been dug into ancient "glacial erratics", that is big rocks which differ from the size and type of rock native to the area in which they rest!!. They think that these rocks have been transported by glacier-ice from one place to another. Cool!!!
Nice day...nice trip.

As usual, my contact info

When our work is acknowledged and appreciated is wonderful and yet...

Well, I have recently come across a couple of guys on DA with quite an aggressive approach to get noticed.
The first one used to favorite works (with no selection whatsoever...but simply taking everything from the section "new submissions") and collecting them in a folder called "shit". One of my pieces ended up there :D of course!! It goes without saying that the pageviews of the guy spiked in few hours (some thousands very angry viewers...and lots of negative comments...). The page was, however, luckily shut down because of the evident pornography the guy uploaded over there!!!
Very recently another guy took a leaf from the previous guy, by adding random works in a folder "I am going to review this work on youtube"!!!
The strategy is the same as the one of the first example...but it is more flattery of each one self-respect... however no less offensive of the most basic common-sense!!! I think someone called this strategy "spam faving"!!!

Have you noticed any particular strategy to get attention on DA??
What's your opinion about the etiquette to use on DA?

As usual, my contact info
What if I could walk all along the streets of the city?
Would I find you, hidden in the gardens of anonymous buildings?
Would I breathe you, around the students at the bus stop?
Would I catch you in the wake of the gulls, on their way back to the sea?
In the noise of snatched talking, of unknown men at the bar?
What if I could finally catch you,
sitting in the park; amidst a group of old people?
Yellow, green and pink shadows on a cloud of gray hair.
Fresh silence in a choir of old lies.
What if I knew you have passed this way,
my spring friend?
touch of spring by solstiziodinverno

A few days ago I saw I picture on DA  Base for Genestealer Magus by SiwySzczur and I thought "wow it makes me think of a chocolate cake!!!". As this week it was my birthday I decided to give it a try... and this is my interpretation...

42...OMG!!! by malanotte

A chocolate cake, filled with cherry marmalade and decorated with white sugar paste! The gravestone is a piece of dark chocolate, which I have discovered it is very pleasant to chisel on!!! next time I'd like to try a chocolate sculpture!!!

RIP...that is Rest In Patisserie ...:D
  • Eating: "sanguinaccio", traditional dish with pig's blood
A collection of photos inspired by the red color

   sardinia1 by solstiziodinverno  pepper A by solstiziodinverno  red tree by solstiziodinverno   
red tree 2 by solstiziodinverno  pepper F by solstiziodinverno  pepper E by solstiziodinverno  the last one to fall by solstiziodinverno

A red day to everyone :D

Contact Information:
  • Eating: "sanguinaccio", traditional dish with pig's blood
my camera and me_1 by malanotte

Is it east or maybe west?
Does it rise or does it rest?
Does it blink ... or do I blink?
Muffled sounds are everywhere.
In the silence that's turning blue,
I shall rest while moving back.
I'll go east and further on,
until I reach you on 
the western shore.

Who's talking to whom?

A shot taking during my daily peregrinations :D
I wish everybody a happy new year.

2017 by malanotte

As usual, at the end of every year I write down a list of new propositions for the year to come!!
This time I have included using all the spare colors, paper sheets and fine arts materials ... lurking in every corner of my place!!
Maybe I imagine things... but I have the impression that they look at me resentfully, because I have abandoned them most completely in favor of photoshop (which, by the way, is a wonderful tool!!!)

So I warn you, from this moment on, you could see some strage stuff appearing on my page :D I hope to not scare you off!!

Do you have any new proposition list done for the next year??
This is I have been working at the tables of a graphic novel. This has prodded me to pay much more attention to the composition of the single frame, the entire page and the balance of the double page because when you open a comic you have simultaneously two page under your eyes whatever the way you read it. I must say it has been a very useful exercise for me.
As usual at the end of the year, I put order among my pictures and those I have favorited during the year. So this is it has been quite a natural process to select some of them because of the composition!! And I would like to share them with you :D I have selected 12 of them...a sort of calendar...of the year which is passing but that have been an incredible source of inspiration for me.
So maintaining the pretense of the calendar...let's start:

January 2016:
Would Rather Not Know by TavenerScholar
Look at the way the use of two well positioned diagonal lines can break the monotony of a very long stripe. There is a fight between the "verticality" of the tree and the landscape mode of the frame and the result is very dynamic. And at the end of such fight...a blood scene. When composition is one thing with the subject depicted.

Febrary 2016:
Game of Thrones - Brace yourself by Winerla
Peace and meditation. In this case the dynamic element of the picture is given just by the horizontal branch which exploits all the space. The vertical lines are short so that they are no more than a pattern over the landscape canvas. If you compare this picture with that of January you see the role of vertical and horizontal lines are completely opposite. In the first one there is only one strong vertical line in an labyrinth of "horizontal" branches, in the second one there is only one "horizontal" line in a pattern of vertical ones.

March 2016:
Passing 2 by AlexandrescuPaul
I love this one because of the juxtaposition of two opposite curves which naturally makes the focus in the middle of the picture.

April 2016:
Cat On A Chest by Jasinai
...the two smallest elements of this picture are the strongest...the cat's eyes...two well defined dots in a sea of black...two inquiries in a sea of mysteries and secrets.

May 2016:
Stork warrior by nik159
One single continuos fluid line that makes a square so very much alive!!! The square is highly symmetric so that very static...but the internal composition makes you forget completely about the frame!

June 2016:
TERAS-Outlaws of Fate by InkVeil-Matter
Action, opposite curves, frames within the frames, well defined planes of foreground and background!!  A great sense of depth. I love this one.

July 2016:
The Hound and the Wolf by AJFrena
This one belongs to that kind of pictures in which one plane of the composition is actually a frame for another one. I get never tired of looking at this kind of picture...they make me feel as if I am on the threshold of a story not yet in the story...

August 2016:
Moonlight by the Night Garden by Hominid-9
Very similar to the picture of July except that in this case the lights of the background contaminate much more the foreground. They are not so separated from each other. It is a subtle effect ... a subtle difference in meaning.

September 2016:
Covered market by Reicheran
A path to the story ... and in the picture. Obliterate what you do not need, enlighten what you would like to know. This picture is meant of course as a study for possible environmental sceneries and yet I think it is fantastic because of the absence of people. It becomes kind of symbolic. The light is ... on the emptiness. If you would put people in there it would become immediately trivial. If you just leave the signs of the passage of becomes alive with symbolism.

October 2016:
babel library by Ayerslibrary
This is what I consider a "monumental" picture. One simple elegant shape emphasized by a strong contrast.

November 2016:
Subterranean City by boc0
a perfetct composition... with majestic lights.

December 2016:
Streets of Rome by Unkopierbar
And finally back to the reality...looking for the perfect light of the day.

I hope you have enjoyed the tour :D
And I wish you all a perfect last month of the year!!
On my trip to Brittany, I spent just one night in Paris.

It was not crowded as I remember it on other occasions. The same tour Eiffel was characterized by a very short queue of visitors! That was really unexpected!! According to my guide, the fear for terroristic attacks has greatly damaged the tourism industry in France. While european tourism seems to resist, the number of visitors from outside Europe (especially japan) has greatly diminished.

So just a little tribute to this city and to one of the monuments I like the most.

  • Listening to: into the fire
  • Reading: La nonna di pitagora (Pythagoras' grandmother)
  • Watching: dominion... bloody angels!!!
I have recently been in Barcelona and I am looking forward to having a chance to go back there, because I loved it!!!
I didn't know anything about it except a bit about Gaudì, which did not particular engaged me as most of the art nouveau. Than I SAW Gaudi's work, I walked inside his "visions" and I perceived the great knowledge he had about nature, architecture, design and I have definitely realized that I have been an idiot not to pay more attention to this architect/artist so far!!!

When i have been in Athen, visiting the Acropolis, the Stoà of Attalo, the Delphi temple, and also the magnificent monuments in Sicily, I felt a particular feeling of balance between mankind and nature, a kind of mutual respect. I felt good. I felt a connection with the people have preceded me in walking along those very steps, looking at those very walls and stories. I felt part of a story.

When I have visited casa Battlò, I couldn't care the less about the people who lived there. It was as if the house itself was a living being. I was inside a living being...breathing in colors, moving from a shape to another at the same speed with which you decide to pass from a room to another. It probably helped that the audioguide included very interesting 3D reconstructions of the rooms in which it was emphasized the creative process of the architect in passing from naturalistic models to design elements. For example the windows of the first floor (which reminds of the interior of a ship) are based upon turtle shells. The audioguide I used here has been one of the most enjoyable I have ever had in visiting museums and archeological sites; it was useful and funny!
I attach a link to a demo which I have found on youtube

The thing which was fantastic was how each element of the house had a practical function; the design of the objects respected the function on one side and fulfilled on the other side with such an elegance! For example the stained glass windows exploited a pattern of colors which was based on dark blue in the upper floors of the house, and on lighter colors on the lower floors (because the lower floors receive less light). The general effect obtained in the stairwell is smooth and vibrant, also because of the use of different materials, glass, ceramic, wooden and metal all perfectly combined together. But besides the stairwell, almost every room is a masterpiece in terms of lighting!

However the place which I liked the most, in terms of pure structures, was the attic (the place usually devoted to the personnel). There are no decorations. It is essential and sinuous like a spiral. Also the attic and the stable in Palau Guell are amazing, like the skeletons of gigantic beasts.

Here a collection of ornamental motifs used by Gaudì and the naturalistic correspondent:

gaudi  morphology by malanotte

Final stop...Sagrada Familia. Speechless.
There is only one monument which has moved me more than that. It is the Michelangelo's David. It is not about the beauty, but the tension that permeates the sculpture. 
In the same way, the Sagrada is a sculpture of light and colors, which makes me feel mesmerized. And although it was incredibly crowded, I felt as if I was alone in a forest of giant rock trees: a through the high canopy light filtered like a rain of pure colors. I completely forgot myself and I was in peace with the world.
If that is the meaning of spirituality, that the Sagrada Familia is for me a very spiritual place.
  • Listening to: into the fire
  • Reading: La nonna di pitagora (Pythagoras' grandmother)
  • Watching: dominion... bloody angels!!!

e la notte si ritira
come acqua della marea;
dietro di sé
lunga è la scia di alghe
attorcigliate agli scogli
come neri pensieri.

the night withdraws at last
like tide water;
right behind it
long is the trail of seaweeds
wrapped around the rocks
like fixed
black thoughts.

  • Listening to: into the fire
  • Reading: La nonna di pitagora (Pythagoras' grandmother)
  • Watching: dominion... bloody angels!!!
I have recently spent a few days in Athens, and I found it amazingly... huge!!!

The city has developed mostly in width rather than height of the building so that, when you look at it from the Acropolis or one of the nearby hills it looks like a cloak spreading in a large valley! Athens' population is about 1/3 of the entire Greece population!!

athens1 by malanotte

It's amazing to look at the acropolis from the town, maybe even better than being on the acropolis itself ... where you have to fight with hordes of tourists, each and everyone waiting for its turn to take a selfie with the Parthenon!!
At any time of the day and night the sight of the acropolis is magnificent although the monuments have gone through so mach damage. In the sun, it is majestic, at sunset it looks golden, at night it takes every advantage from the artificial lights. I will not post any photos about that, because my skill and tools in photos are absolutely too poor...
But it was a great pleasure for me to look at that landscape.
What I really enjoyed and I advice you goes there for the first time to do is visiting the museum of the acropolis. There are not only many models of the acropolis during the centuries to understand how it evolved and changed because of politics in ancient Greece and because of turkish dominion, but the building itself is arranged to mimic the path followed by an ancient pilgrim though the city to the parthenon. I was lucky, I had a great guide so the visit at the museum was particularly enjoyable. I particularly liked the back of the caryatids...something I didn't have in my school books...

caryatid by malanotte

When you reach the end of the museum ... that is the room with the methopes of the Parthenon, I'll warn you ... any guide will take plenty of time to explain how and why the missing pieces have been "borrowed without permission" by the British. The wound is very much open, and unfortunately there is very little chance for Athens to get back part of its monuments because that would create a precedent which would jeopardize many museums...think about the Monna Liisa painting at the Louvre and so on.

Around the acropolis there is also a wonderful huge park where to stroll and and relax a bit. While beneath the acropolis there is just a little jewel ... the temple of Ephaestus...the better preserved temple of ancient Greece

ephaestus temple by malanotte

What really stroke me about Athens, is that in the city history and development (from an architectural point of view) there is quite a dichotomy. On one side you have this very strong landmark due to the ancient Greece monuments, on the other side everything seemed to have been build after the xix century (except for some churches). Surely I am not an historian of any kind, so don't take my words for granted, but I really had the impression that the turkish dominion on this region has been devastating. It has exploited the place without any real chance of growth.
From this point of view Athens is completely different from Rome. When you visit Rome, you find traces of every historical period side by side. There is like a continuum.
At athens you jump from the past to the modern age, like at one of its metro stops...where you find on one side of the platform display cases of ancient tools and vases and so on and on the other side the contemporary city.

Another place we have briefly visited is the temple of Delphi. This is also gorgeous!!!
I would have spent all day over there to paint!!! But it is quite far from Athens, so we could stay more than a couple of hours in order to complete the tour in a day. The green valley you see in the photo is one of the largest stretch of olive trees in Greece.
delphi 1 by malanotte

Have a nice day,
malanotte :D

  • Listening to: into the fire
  • Reading: La nonna di pitagora (Pythagoras' grandmother)
  • Watching: dominion... bloody angels!!!