Ali Matteini

a life creative

mARTEdì: Old Sketches & New Experiments in the Studio

The Kittykatmandoo studio is moving across town to a renovated medieval room. It’s been years in the planning [everything takes a long time in Italy] but now it’s so close to completion I can taste the whitewashed walls and studio lights.

I’ve been making jewellery and fielding orders and sorting out the dilettante postal ‘service’, which, I understand, is a worldwide entropic phenomenon…but…where is my sister’s cheese, my mother’s book, two earring orders, all of which were sent TWO WEEKS BEFORE CHRISTMAS!? FedEx from now on. I’ve learnt a very expensive lesson about Poste Italiene.

Returning to the subject of art: in the preparation for trundling all my art stuff and jewellery making equipment across town, and in the process of sorting and moving things around [hard copy and digital] in our soon-to-be reclaimed spare room I haven’t had much spare time this week to sketch or paint. I did, however, come across my old sketchbook from Australia, where I’d begun re-learning to pencil draw animals with Ken Raffe.




I’m also still plugging away at this old oil painting. It’s very nearly finished and I have a bit of a painting party [of two] happening here at home tomorrow. The trouble with oils is that, while they’re beautiful to work with, they take eons to dry.

I’ve made a driftwood and copper wire frame for this once it’s finished. Which will be tomorrow, hurrah…+ 1 week’s drying time…
I won’t want to look at it for a while!


Steering away from oils for a while, some months ago I worked with marbling using China inks on shaving foam [flower background], and nail lacquer on water as another method [centre of the daisy]. I love recycling and using whatever is on hand. The silver petals on the daisy are cut from the discarded covers of disposable oven trays [the trays I wash and reuse, by the way].
Any other suggested methods or mediums for marbling?


Speaking of recycling, the last time we went to Franci olive oil pressing plant in Montenero d’Orcia, it was the middle of the harvest and I saw that the paper filters would be discarded once they had been used in the pressing process. I asked if I could take a few off their hands to experiment with and they were more than happy for me to do so.

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I took about 12 home and pressed the remaining oil from them between towels for about 10 days, then washed them in hot soapy water three times. It sounds like quite a process but it’s worth it: the paper is big, wonderful, lovely, thick, oil stained, the texture is a lot like the cotton or rag papers used for letterpress printing.
And it’s free and recycled. Let’s see what I can do with them…
Anyone else used this before?

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Grazie, Franci 🙂

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A presto,

Cheers and Ciao,
Ali 🙂

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