Friday, December 31, 2010

Anthurium Art

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

Nature often repeats her patterns and shapes, especially when they are successful. No doubt you have seen the spiral in the nautilus shell (often used as a visual to explain the mathematical terms of the Golden Mean or Golden Ratio and the Fibonacci Sequence). That spiral shape is also found in many plants, such as in the branches of an agave, the petals on the head of an artichoke, fruitlets of a pineapple, and in pine cones.

Ripples, twists, fractals, branching and more … we see recurring Nature’s patterns everywhere from the cracked dry earth to the veining in leaves to the billows of cloud patches, the scales on a snake, soap bubbles, honeycomb, and the staggered rows of kernels on corn cobs. Under water, over water, even water: the repetition of shapes, lines, and textures are everywhere. We are fascinated, as well as comforted by their beautiful design.

In what may be becoming my New Years' Eve tradition, I now would like to introduce you to another intentionally erotic artwork… if this is not your kind of thing, please just stop reading and go do something more interesting.

The concept, of course, is about the beauty and function in Nature’s repeating patterns.

pastel on black Firenze-brand paper
9” x 25”
$1800 + $20 shipping (6.75% sales tax to Texas destinations)

The idea for this pastel painting titled “Anthurium” was birthed back in 2007 in Florence, Italy. I did a commissioned pencil drawing for an Italian flower vendor who opened shop every day (but Sunday) in the piazza closest to my rented flat.

One day he asked me if I could do a drawing from a photograph and when I responded with a shrug, “Perché no?”, he pulled out a small, dark photo of himself, posing in shorts with an almost body builder physique. He seemed quite pleased to see the surprise in my face. It had never occurred to me that he would want me to do a drawing of him.

At the time, I had not yet created many images of a figure in an environment. Despite my very long days at the Angel Academy of Arts, I came home each night and worked really hard to create a drawing that I wanted to sign. The reference photo was horrible, so I immediately decided to create my own design around the figure. I came up with a border reminiscent of the shape of Florence’s famous Duomo and drew flowers around my friend’s image.

When I was nearing completion, I took the drawing over to show him and he actually made me remove one of the flowers I had chosen for its compositional value, and he said to me with a straight face, “THIS is my favorite flower.” I looked at the flower he pointed to, looked back at his expression, and thought, “You have got to be kidding me!”

I never could tell if he was or not, but I finished the drawing with his beloved anthuriums and he seemed genuinely delighted with it. Some ideas hang inside my head for years before they manifest themselves. I hope this one makes you smile.

I wish you a colorful and joyful 2011, full of ups more than downs and an honest appreciation of Nature’s offerings. Thank you for reading my blog and cruising along with this artistic journey.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Silver Trees Painting

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

I live out in the country southeast of Austin, Texas, surrounded by trees. Sometimes the lighting on the naked narly branches of oaks stops me in my tracks. Near my home, there is an open brown field in front of a row of trees. The drama came from the dark skies of an approaching storm coming up from behind. As I passed by, I had the impression of the trees being silver.

So, in this 9” x 12” acrylic painting on canvas, I tried to capture some memory of this lighting situation. I actually used metallic paints for the tops of the trees. As is often the case with most of my works, there is a point in which I do not like the work because I feel that I am failing. I began to wonder about having a subject and composition as simple as a mostly horizontal row of trees. But I know now to plod through this stage and usually, I can turn it around to rediscover what caught my attention in the first place. This happened with this painting as well.

As I worked and also as I approached this painting with a fresh eye after working on something else, and in different times of day, I began to see how the painting actually was reminding me of my interest in the original scene.

The other thing that I have been enjoying about metallic paint is that the image looks different in different lighting situations. I include a few images here, so you may see some of her changing effects. I also rolled the paint into the trees, hoping to adds a few bumps with which to catch the light.

For me, this painting grows on me more and more and I find myself at peace with all of the horizontal lines in the composition, with just a few subtle diagonals for a wee bit of variety. I hope you like.

“Silver Trees-Texas”
Acrylic on Canvas 9” x 12”
Copyright 2010 – 2011 Kelly Borsheim

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Florentine Sunset Pastel Painting

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

So, we are still in bella Italia - at least in my mind anyway.
A lot of cities are built around rivers. They often remain much of the focal point and a cherished part of each city. While I have not traveled as much as I would have liked to, nor do I normally live in a city, I love the energy of Florence, Italy. Her river, the Arno River, is not one that I would neither swim in nor eat anything that came out of her. However, she enchants me just the same.

I have been lucky enough to live in the central part of Florence for long enough stretches of time that I have seen many gorgeous sunsets during the course of my “haunting” the city at dusk. It never gets old.

I decided to create a pastel painting, with metallic acrylic painted highlights, to share with you some of my absolute delight with Florence’s Arno River and one of the several bridges over her.

“Florentine Sunset” (Firenze, Italia)
12” x 16” Pastel with Acrylic Painting
copyright 2010-2011 Kelly Borsheim

Would you like to learn how to do this for a Hawaiian sunset? If yes, come join me at Kona Village Resort on the Big Island in Hawai’I for art workshop “Pastels in Paradise”. Dates are April 17-22. 2011, so register now!