Friday, July 11, 2008

Portrait Drawing-Florence Italy

Cari Amici,

This is my charcoal portrait drawing of my friend Inga. I actually drew her back in February, but I do not think that I shared this with you. She is a good model with an interesting look. I find this three-quarter view difficult and often choose to have this view so that I may improve my work.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

White Pencil Drawing of Nude Male Figure Florence Italy

Cari Amici,

Not too long ago, I hired one of the many charming Italian models here in Florence to pose for other artists and me for a two-hour sketch (including breaks). Since sculpting the bronze “I am You”, I became even more interested in how different individuals or specifically even men and women carry themselves.

So, on this evening, I asked Mauro to try to imitate the pose that you saw in the charcoal drawing of Ilaria that I posted yesterday. He really could not get into the pose, which I found interesting. But he did an acceptable job of holding the gesture that he did give us.

Here you see my work of a white pastel pencil on black paper. I am really enjoying this idea of light from darkness. I hope you do as well.
His price is 125 USD, plus $20 for shipping and handling. Contact me if you are interested in “Mauro in Light.”
Thank you for reading.


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Charcoal Drawing of Nude Female Figure Florence Italy

Cari Amici,

It is difficult to prepare for a long trip and finish several drawings and also look for a place to live once I return to Italia in September, but that is what I have been doing. Not to add how much time I am spending visiting with old and new friends before I go.

But this morning, I had time to photograph a couple of my latest projects. Here I show you “Ilaria”. She is a carboncino (charcoal) drawing of a beautiful woman from north Italia. She is approximately 67 x 46 cm and was drawn on the paper called Umbria. Naturally, this drawing of a nude feminine figure is available. Please inquire.

Often I like high contrast and want to place the most dramatic lighting where I want your eye to go first. So, for example, a bright shoulder might have a dark, dark background against it. This project was different as I tried to play with the effect of light emerging from dark and thus, the background behind the figure in shadow is closer in tone to the actual female figure. I think that the photo is too light probably when seen on your screen. I would enjoy having feedback on this.

Anyway, the real Ilaria was such a sport to endure this pose for five weeks, three hours per afternoon. Knees being bent in this way make for bad circulation. We got into a little routine of sorts in which I would bring her a small gift, such as a chocolate bar or an apple, or one day, her favorite torta “La Cubana” from my trip to northeast Italia, so that she could have a sugar energy boost. “La Cubana” is a specialty of this region and Ilaria told me it is often served with grappa (although I photographed it here with a dark beer that I tried and liked).

And she surprised me one day by bringing me some fresh picked lavender from her yard in Tuscany, outside of Florence. I was delighted and shared some with my friend Hélène, who has a charming way of leaning forward as her eyes widen and her smile brightens when she wants a little of something you have before her. Afterwards, I taped the lavender to my easel and enjoyed its distinctive fragrance while Ilaria and I worked on this artwork. I hope you enjoy this figurative charcoal drawing.

PS Do not forget the art classes that I am teaching in Texas this summer. I hope to see you!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Teaching Art in Florence, Italy

Cari Amici,

I mentioned before that I have been working as an assistant for Martinho Correia at the Angel Academy of Art here in Florence, Italy.
Martinho has been teaching a 2-week workshop on Painting Methods of the Great European Academies.

By day, we worked in the studio in the traditional method of learning how to paint by copying great artworks of the past. This teaches an artist so much more than copying a photograph! Martinho is shown here with one of his students. We had a great class – good energy with all of us.

One morning we all met Martinho at the mercato porcellino for a quick coffee or breakfast and then we walked to the Chiesa di Santa Felìcita, between the Ponte Vecchio and the Pitti Palace. I show you here some images I took in the church. The painting on the right is by Antonio Ciseri (1821-1891) titled “Santa Felìcita e il martirio dei Maccabei”. The bodies are fantastic and I like the zig-zagging composition. We also viewed the beautiful colors and figures of the Deposizione by Jacopo Pontormo (1494-1556), a lovely fresco on the right as you enter the church.

Our next stop was the Pitti Palace and her museums. Especially interesting was the section that the Medici family lived in. Martinho is very familiar with so many specific artworks and gave interesting comments on many of them, relating them to our current projects. Unfortunately for me, I missed too many of his art lessons because I tend to linger too long and can never seem to stay with a group for all of the time.

I often kept the studio open daily longer than promised so that we could try to get more painting done, but afterwards, we would meet one another for dinner and later, dancing. Pictured here are Ksenia, Isabelle, Martinho, and me at the salsa club Jaragua. We danced here many nights, but also visited many of the other clubs and aperitivos around Florence. One night at Jaragua, we got to see a performance by more professional dancers.

This 2-week workshop has been a great experience for me. But as much as I love to dance, the “getting-to-bed-at-5-am” routine is starting to wear on me. That said, I would probably make the same choice again because I met such cool people and we learned a lot and danced even more.