Friday, February 15, 2008

Artist Caravaggio in Firenze

Now usually on Thursday evenings, my friend Lisa and I attend the art history lectures given by Charles Cecil at his art school in Florence. Yesterday was no exception, despite Valentine’s Day. In fact, Mr. Cecil joked that perhaps he should not discuss the artist Caravaggio on such a holiday since Caravaggio killed a man. But it was a great lecture.

Afterwards, we went to our usual ristorante to share a pizza. We always try something new and just before ordering, I noticed a pizza named ‘Viagra.’ How perfect was that for some dateless wonders on the lover’s holiday? And it has lots of meat on it! Heh. So, Lisa and I got a kick out of our choice.

GianFranco acted amused. He is always our waiter on these nights and he greets us warmly each Thursday. He is one of the few Florentines who actually speaks Italian with us, so Lisa and I have been learning a lot from him. Only, this time, GianFranco returned to our table and explained to us that the owner required that we order two beers with our pizza. That was a bit odd, but we were hungry, so . . . OK. Afterwards Lisa confessed that she did not like beer. Well, I certainly did not need them after the free-flowing wine at the Charles Cecil Studios. But, you know, when in Roma . . . or Firenze . . .

Well, after all that drinking, it made sense that I would need to ask GianFranco to show me the bagno. He did and as I turned inside the room to shut the door, I saw him still standing where I left him. I asked him to speak, “Dimi.”

And GianFranco asked, “hai boys?” (“Do you have boys?”) Since we normally speak in Italian, my brain wanted to figure out what ‘boys’ meant in Italian. I responded with a confused, “non ho capito questo ‘boys.’” He rephrased, “Do you have men?” The plural threw me. For some reason, my often literally oriented mind interpreted this to mean ‘as in a stable of men.’ A little confused, I responded, “non.” He then politely said, “Ok, see you next week” since his shift was over.

Lisa thought this was the funniest exchange and asked me how I managed to have such bizarre conversations while just going about my life.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Gille in Florence Italy

Happy Valentine's Day -- Buona Festa di San Valentino!
These images are from the window of Gille -- a popular tourist ristorante and dolci shoppe near Piazza della Repubblica in Firenze, Italia.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Raining Confetti in Florence

One recent evening on my way home from the studio, I noticed that it was raining confetti again. Italians – or maybe only Florentines – seem to love showering the streets on any or no apparent occasion with lots of colored paper dots.

This time I looked up and saw a young child diligently reaching into a loaded bag held by, I presumed, her nonna (grandmother). I waved as I called, “Buona sera! Permesso?” asking for permission to take their photos as I waved a camera in my hand. I thanked them as I moved on to my next stop, but it is moments like these that remind me of why living in a small city can be charming.

PS Buon Compleanno – H Happy Birthday, (brother) Steve! ti amo.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Pencil Portrait Drawing

This is the sketch of my friend Christina that I did in January. This drawing was originally intended to be a portrait only, but I enjoyed the energia in the lines of the figure and clothing. I actually sat on the floor and looked up at the model to make this portrait in pencil. I wish that I had had more time to explore the textures of fabric, but then I might lose the loose quality that I enjoy so much here . . .
See what you think.

Despite the quality of the photograph, this is a pencil sketch done on a white Arches paper.