Thursday, April 25, 2013

Michelangelo Architectural Design Butterfly


Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

Some of my paintings and even sculpture have involved doing some research on my basic idea. Sometimes that is because I do not remember details or want to get a related quote exactly right, but often I know that when I am trying to clarify an idea growing in my brain, researching often leads me to a stronger way to express the idea.

Such is the case with my newest painting in the works now. I do not want to give too much away, but like many of my works in the last several years, the basic idea is about transitions. As in my painting "Le Scale dell'Eros", my new work includes the shape of an animal; in this case, I am using a butterfly to symbolize a metamorphosis type of transition.

I first came to Italy in 2004 with a desire simply to touch the work of one of my first sculpture teachers, the great (and very late) Michelangelo. Since that wonderful experience, I had a desire to live with more art around me on a daily basis and thus Italy, especially Florence, was a strong pull. Can you imagine my delight that my research on the Greek myth that accompanies the butterfly idea led me to a butterfly shape designed by Michelangelo? It is an architectural idea he had for the Porta al Prato in Florence. I do not believe it was ever realized… but still. Here is what I found . . .

Add to this that I am trying to push myself in a slightly new direction. I do not really know exactly where I am going, but having created art for many years now, I trust the process to bring me to places that I had not really thought of, but will be appropriate for where I am in my life in the time of the painting’s creation. That sounds a bit “foo-foo” to even me, but … do what you like with it.

That said, one thing that I have struggled with since I was ten years old is the fear of losing things (people really). But for this painting, I want the butterfly form to be more subtle than most things I have painted before. In an attempt to let go without fear of losing the communication of my idea, I sketched the architectural design of Michelangelo on my canvas in charcoal until I was satisfied with the proportions. [(I prepped the 90 x 130 cm canvas with a blue campitura).] I then painted the lines loosely in a blue-umber color. [See the lower left section of the butterfly.]

After letting that be for a small time, I then went in with a blending brush and mushed all of the edges. I tried to loosen up and let the brush strokes soften everything. I want to build from this basic shape and create a composition that I find mysterious, intriguing, and expressing an emotion… in all honestly, I am not sure what. This is a painting idea from something I have felt for many years now, having spent my life in my recent past going back and forth from Texas to Italia. Would you like to follow the journey with me? Or maybe it would be best for me to wait to see if I am successful in this endeavor?

There is still time to sign-up for the workshop that I will be teaching in central Florida this May. I hope you join me and let us make some art and work with designing a portrait!

"Portrait Painting with Artist Kelly Borsheim"

2013 Art Workshop Dates:
Friday, May 17 from 6-9 pm;
Saturday, May 18, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (lunch is from 1 to 2 p.m.) and
Sunday, May 19 from noon to 5 p.m., 2013
(14 hours in total)

Location: Private historic Victorian estate in Sanford, Florida (central Florida). Paid attendees will be given the address before the workshop begins, but the location is near Country Club Road on Highway 46A.

In this hands-on introductory weekend portrait workshop, you will learn how to improve your drawing and observation skills for creating a portrait and how to achieve a more 3-dimensional effect in your art using pastels and charcoal. Or you may prefer to work with oil paint.

Happy Liberation Day, Italia!

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