Portraits

People, all of us, are a wonderful show.

Over the years, I enjoyed meeting and painting a lot of them. Finding my style, in their style :)

In Radiohead Project

Some years ago, I started drawing and painting, self-taught. One of my first subjects was a Brandon Boyd pic: the posture, the way he kept his hand on his face, his clothes, everything inspired me. Then, thinking of a title for the artwork, a Radiohead’s title came to my mind. “Let Down”, I thought it fitted.

Two years later (and a lot of drawings, paintings and stuff later – like my moving to Rome), that so-called “Let Down” piece made me think about other titles and about visualizations, free associations of images, ideas and concepts flowing in my mind.

Here’s the project track list:

#01. Let Down

#02. Lotus Flower

#03. Optimistic

#04. How To Disappear Completely

#05. Myxomatosis

#06. Stop Whispering

#07. We Suck Young Blood

#08. Fitter Happier

#09. Bullet Proof (I Wish I Was)

#10. Street Spirit (Fade Out)

#11. Anyone Can Play Guitar

#12. Where I End And You Begin

Every artwork is pencil on paper, background in watercolor.

#01. Let Down

#02. Lotus Flower

For “Lotus Flower”, I couldn’t help thinking of the video, of the bowler hat and of Thom’s hands moving all around.

#03. Optimistic

Optimistic is the way I’m always trying to live my life, despite everything. It’s something about looking for the good inside the bad, but also about courage and control, risk, detachment from results, hope, faith, freedom, will, dreams and desire.

“Man of the air…limits exist only in the mind of people who are not able to dream”_ Philippe Petit

#04. How To Disappear Completely

How to disappear completely” reminded me of a dinner I had with a friend of mine. They invited us and we went even if we didn’t feel like. Everyone was enjoying, laughing and having a good time for things we simply didn’t fit in. And we passed from something like “what the hell am I doing here? I don’t belong here” to “I’m not here, this is not happening”, hoping to get superpowers and disappear.

#05. Myxomatosis

Mixomatosis” is a disease that affects rabbits. Frank the bunny, in Donnie Darko, was a very diseased one.

#06. Stop Whispering

The words “Stop Whispering” made me think of someone who was yelling, angry, at a passive and shy person. In that moment I was listening to Bjork. I imagine she could say this to someone.

#07. We Suck Young Blood

We Suck Young Blood”: vampires, of course. And those in Jim Jarmusch’s “Only Lovers Left Alive” are my favorite and loved ones.

#08. Fitter Happier

With “Fitter Happier”, I had in mind the synthetic, mechanical, frozen voice of the song, and the image of a meditating man behind bars came to my mind. Rules and rules, and bars, to be happier. In a cage of rules.

#09. Bullet Proof (I Wish I Was)

For “Bullet Proof (I Wish I Was)” I imagined Neo stopping bullets in Matrix. But in the end I thought it was not Neo who wanted to be bullet proof, but the agent. Matrix is one of my favorite movies ever.

#10. Street Spirit (Fade Out)

If I try not to think of the lyrics and the amazing video of “Street Spirit (Fade Out)”, what I see is an old wise man living in the street, homeless, roaming. The spirit of the street, that lives in it, that has seen it all, that nobody cares for, and that slowly disappear, unseen.

#11. Anyone Can Play Guitar

I chose to draw Dave Grohl at the drums for “Anyone Can Play Guitar”: I remembered a talk with a friend of mine, I was asking him if he listened to the new Foo Fighters album, and the answer was: “Actually, I don’t like Foo Fighters so much. Because one of the best drummer in the world is in a band where he sings and plays guitar.” That friend of mine is a drummer, by the way.

#12. Where I End And You Begin

Where I End And You Begin” is a quite sad song. But the words in the title make me think of a place, the place where Love starts, a little dot in the space between two souls that can be filled only with Love, to create a connection of unity, understanding, exchange and growth. And this is where I end my project, and you begin seeing it.

The Manual of the Warrior of Light

This is one of my hardest, most loved, most sweated works: I decided, something like two years ago, to illustrate Paulo Coelho’s book “The Manual of the Warrior of Light”. And I’m not done yet, a lot of work is still to be done.

I have a strange relationship with this book: when I bought it, it was not the right moment of my life for it to be red. Then, after years, I realized how many messages of strength, positivity, perseverance and faith are hidden inside of it, and it became my “lucky book”, a book to open when my faith in the Universe begins lacking, and even if, of course, it doesn’t contain any answer, it’s a good friend, with all of its flaws, imperfections, and diamonds. Thanks, Paulo Coelho.

With these illustrations, I had periods of pure productivity and long moments of total stuck. After years, nights up, struggling and a lot of good time, now I think it’s time for the sea to receive this message in the bottle of mine, and it’s time for me to start letting it go, until, hopefully, one day, someone will enjoy looking at it.

Periodically I will update here all the illustrations, but check out my Instagram page, too. Enjoy!

Ps. I want once again to remind that every caption is an extract written by Paulo Coelho in his book! ;)

Prologue

‘Just off the beach to the east of the village lies an island, and on it is a vast temple with many bells,’ said the woman. • • • ‘Nella spiaggia a est del paese c’è un’isola sulla quale sorgr un gigantesco tempio con tante campane,’ disse la donna.

Heart and Brain Harmony

Hi everybody!

It’s been a long time! More than a year, actually, without posting new stuff. But ideas need their incubation period, before they come out and spread! – And life need to be lived and experienced, to allow new ideas to be conceived. No input, no output, right?

So I’m planning to change layout of this wordpress and I’m working on tons of new stuff, photography and illustrations, that will – super soon, I hope – be posted.

Here’s the last of my works: a dear friend, mother of a marvellous 5 years old girl student of mine, asked me to paint a very small image she found on the web, because she wanted to make her psychologist studio. Of course I accepted, because I absolutely loved the illustration and it was perfectly in line with my idea of emotional and mindful balance and harmony. So she sent it to me on Whatsapp and I copied it in a 50 x 70 canvass. Here it is, I hope you’ll let me know if you like it.

You’ll read me soon! In the meanwhile, never stop learning! ;)

 

brain-and-heart-harmony-acrilico-su-tela-70-x-50-cm

 

In Radiohead Project – 12 Radiohead’s song titles, illustrated

It took a while, but now it’s ready! Mi ci è voluto un po’, ma ora è pronto!

©Elena Mantovan

In Radiohead

12 Radiohead’s song titles, illustrated.

Traklist

#01. Let Down

#02. Lotus Flower

#03. Optimistic

#04. How To Disappear Completely

#05. Myxomatosis

#06. Stop Whispering

#07. We Suck Young Blood

#08. Fitter Happier

#09. Bullet Proof (I Wish I Was)

#10. Street Spirit (Fade Out)

#11. Anyone Can Play Guitar

#12. Where I End And You Begin

Read more for all the story, in English and in Italian. Continua a leggere, per tutta la storia, in inglese e in italiano.

Continue reading “In Radiohead Project – 12 Radiohead’s song titles, illustrated”

No Mirrors: Perspectives of a Body

Mirrors, however, tell only a half truth. The face in the looking glass is only half the size of your actual face, merely half of what you in fact present and others see.

James Hillman, The soul’s code

Do I need a mirror to know ho my body is? Its shape, its postures, how it moves and in which directions? Do I need a mirror to know how my soul is? How good and bad, the emotions, its flaws, its story and its desires? Do I need to mirror in somebody’s else soul to see mine?

Acrylic on Canvas - 45 x 60,5 cm
Acrylic on Canvas – 45 x 60,5 cm

Acrylic on Canvas - 45 x 60,5 cm
Acrylic on Canvas – 45 x 60,5 cm

Acrylic on Canvas - 45 x 60,5 cm
Acrylic on Canvas – 45 x 60,5 cm

Acrylic on Canvas - 45 x 60,5 cm
Acrylic on Canvas – 45 x 60,5 cm

Acrylic on Canvas - 45 x 60,5 cm
Acrylic on Canvas – 45 x 60,5 cm

Acrylic on Canvas - 45 x 60,5 cm
Acrylic on Canvas – 45 x 60,5 cm

Acrylic on Canvas - 45 x 60,5 cm
Acrylic on Canvas – 45 x 60,5 cm

Acrylic on Canvas - 45 x 60,5 cm
Acrylic on Canvas – 45 x 60,5 cm

Ma gli specchi dicono solo mezze verità. La faccia che ti vedi allo specchio misura la metà delle dimensioni della tua faccia vera, è solamente la metà di quella che presenti agli altri e che gli altri vedono.

James Hillman, Il codice dell’anima

Ho bisogno di uno specchio per sapere com’è il mio corpo? Che forma ha, che postura assume, come si muove e in che direzioni? Ho bisogno di uno specchio per sapere com’è la mia anima? Quanto bene e quanto male, che emozioni, quali difetti, la sua storia e i desideri? Ho bisogno di specchiarmi in un’altra anima per vedere la mia?

Two, together