Francesco Samorè

I was born in Milan in 1976. At nine years old I received three manuals, gifts from my father: Drawing on the right side of the brain, (Betty Edwards, ed. Longanesi), Portrait painting in watercolour, and Figure painting in watercolour (Charles Reid, ed. Editiemme). I remember my surprise as, carrying out he first exercise, I reproduced an upside-down version of a line drawing by Picasso. The manual proposed this method in order to activate the process of what is known in the artistic world as ‘non symbolic’ vision, a form tied to the (less rational) right hemisphere of the brain. Many years later I finally understood that Reid was making explicit reference to the teachings of Edwards through his technique of ‘outline drawing’.

Awaiting my tenth birthday outside the hotels during the summer holidays from school, I approached some of the elderly holiday makers for my first rudimentary portrait painting experiences. The men reacted better than the women (justifiably I might add, the women also looked like men in my paintings), but they all seemed happy to pass an hour in company. One of my ‘subjects’ left me The adventures of huckleberry Finn and Jonathan Livingston Seagull on departure, with a warm dedication.

The stationers in Lavagna, in Liguria, had been flooded. They didn’t want to have to throw the paint sets and drawing paper away, so they gave them to me as a present. It all smelt a bit musty, but provided for my first paintings. A trip to the nearby town of Chiavari and my collection was complete: God bless art suppliers.

Grandma Ada loved painting. She had learned to use oils during her childhood in the early Twentieth Century in Argentina. Her son Tito (my father) was no less skilled. His acrylics were beautiful. My German mother wrote stories and poetry and was naturally one of his early models. After completing art school (during which I must admit I painted very little as design work was in vogue and artistic practices were reduced to little more than life and model drawing) a passion for history took over. A degree, PhD, and career that I love led to less brush work, just a few sporadic moments, until …. yesterday.
Cristina is my greatest critic. Our golden retriever Lenù is the unwitting (?) protagonist of the most intimate portraits, and amongst all of my friends and acquaintances, the one who spends most time on the sofa (without moving), which certainly helps. I would like to thank Sarah Worth Reid for sending me a painting by her father, who sadly passed away in 2019. I collect his DVD’s (speaking of which, if anyone has a copy of Portraits in Watercolor, Crystal film edition, I am looking to buy one: so far I have only been able to find a copy in a library in the USA, and they won’t send it). Rightly So!
Advice and comments on my work are welcome. Above all, anyone who would like their own portrait (or of somebody else as a gift) can contact me here.
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