I was about to finish my accounting studies in order to find a job in an office or a store in town, but I was becoming increasingly interested in drawing. In June of 1949, though I hadnt even thought of saying anything to him, my uncle Antonio decided it was time to take me under his wing. He told me that the copies I had been making, that I liked so much, were not what I should be doing, and that I should start drawing from life. At my grandparents house, where he lived, in a little kitchen that opened onto a large courtyard, he set against the wall the subject of his latest painting: a small, unvarnished wooden table with scissor legs. The table was partly covered with a white cloth that had a narrow, reddish stripe on the edge, and on top of this was a terracotta cooking pot, a halved onion, and a big, round loaf of bread, marked with a cross and with a portion missing. He gave me a piece of paper from a pad and told me to draw. I sat on a low chair, very close to the subject, and started doing so. With some rough outlines, I easily fit the subject onto the paper. I was surprised by what I was capable of doing.