Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Rembrandt Street Painting

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

It is true that admiration becomes refined through imitation. I mean that once a person tries something for himself, he gains a better understanding of the accomplishments of another. In truth, I was not particularly interested in portraiture before I came to Italy. And in the case of the famous artist Rembrandt, I tend to like his etchings more than his paintings. I liked the light in some Rembrandts, but sometimes the scratchy-like texture in the paint does not appeal to me.

But for all of the famous paintings of San Paolo that I researched for this street painting competition in Nocera Superiore, Italy, recently, I found myself drawn to Rembrant’s “Saint Paul at his Writing Desk.” Our group’s organizer, Claudio, asked me to add bars in a window to signify that my drawing depicts St. Paul’s second time in prison. (The Florence group of madonnari [street painters] wanted 19 images in a time-line depicting specific events in Paul’s life.)

I was tired when I arrived in Nocera Superiore, but we had to draw most of the night in order to finish our street paintings by noon the next day. At first I worried that Saint Paul’s head was too small to make an impact, in the stilo di madonnari, but I am glad that I chose not to enlarge the entire composition.




While I see many things that I would have liked to do differently, I was very happy with my work. In fact, I am thinking that I would enjoy creating an oil painting of this same Rembrandt.

I leave you today with a few images of how we madonnari spent our early morning and afternoon of the street painting competition in this small Italian town. No, we are not bums . . .




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7 comments:

Casey Klahn said...

What type of drawing tool do you use? Is it calcium carbonate (chalk), or more like pastel?

This is a very effective and very well done artwork. My compliments.

Anonymous said...

Amazing Results and I'm sure a lot of work. Thanks,
Gene P.

Kelly Borsheim said...

Ciao and thank you. We draw with pastels mostly, although sometimes the kids chalk for the street work well, esp. for large areas. Sometimes we use pigments (powder) mixed with either water or alcohol, depending on the season/sun. (for hot days, water dries quickly enough)
nothing can be used that would stay on the street "permanently"

I appreciate the compliments a lot! This work really wears the body down (at least mine).

Laura Grimes said...

Un quaddro fantastico. And I, too, prefer his etchings, in general.

Francesca Maggi said...

Magnifico! In a country which doesn't do Rembrandt, a superb choice.
Can you post the winning entry?
I may do a link on my blog...
F Maggi

Kelly Borsheim said...

Alas, the other madonnari told me who won, but I could not figure out which artist it was and I did not know many names and they did not know the number of the artist's square . . . I am a HORRIBLE reporter!

Thanks -- that Rembrandt was not drawn by any other. I was content with that. ;-)
Thank you for reading.
un abbraccio,
Kelly

Jo Castillo said...

Kelly, you are amazing. This is just beautiful. Sounds like you need a rest now. :) It is hot, hot, here already and we are getting ready to head for the mountains of NM in a month. All is fine....

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