Saturday, December 27, 2014

Umag Croatia



Dear Art-loving friend,

     So, in order to remain legal with the Italian government, I have now relocated to Croatia.  Umag, to be exact, is a city by the sea in a region called Istria.  It is not very far from Trieste, Italy, and in Istria, many people speak Italian.  Some, I am finding out, also speak English.  As of this writing Croatia is a part of the European Union (EU), but not yet a part of Schengen Territories.  It is that latter that concerns me. Croatia expects to become a part of Schengen around mid-2015, so I am lucky that for now, I have Croatia as a solution to my escaping Schengen for 90 days.

     I am thus far enjoying being in a place in which I know so few, and yet feel fortunate that my new landlady and her family have been wonderfully kind to me, especially in inviting me to share Christmas Eve with them.  Umag has a lovely harbor and old town, which I hope to explore more as I get over the cold that I acquired in Florence not so long ago.  I am mostly over it, but I tend to hang onto those sort of things longer when I do not take them seriously and start getting too active when I am still fighting the virus. 

     Anyway, here are some of the images I have shot thus far.. I hope you enjoy the serenity in them.




This is what is left of an old Roman gate; now a "sculpture" gracing the front of City Hall, Umag.
 These that follow I took during the sunset of the Solstice.  I love Nature's holidays:  One of the few sunny days here recently:










My Christmas Eve... with landlady Miranda and her family.. Isn't she adorable?  Hard-working too:

Tons of lanterns were lit before their fires lifted them above the old town (the church is outlined in lights.

     And in case you missed my recent art newsletter about Carrara and BLIND stone carvers, please click here:
Thank you.
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     If you are enjoying this blog, the writing and/or the images, you may help keep it coming by supporting the blog… make a donation on the blog itself (in euro or dollars, via PayPal links on this blog site.  Or click on my affiliate link to Amazon.com and as you buy for yourself, Amazon will thank me a wee bit.  A third way you may help is to forward this blog to someone you think may appreciate it.  The more readers, the more comments online, and wallah… lovers of art and Italy [and Croatia] unite.

Thank you for your interest and enthusiasm,
Kelly 

~ Kelly Borsheim, sculptor, painter, writer, teacher

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Trieste Italy Post Office Art Part 3 of 3



Dear Art-loving friend,

     One of the challenges I have in the limbo life I have to live for the next year is juggling my art career.  I mean, how do I sell a painting that is still in my home in Italia when I myself must remain outside of Italia for at least 90 days now?  Also, I have been trying to branch out and exhibit in other countries.  It is difficult and costly enough to manage shipping art out of Italy and to places far away, but I must depend on others to help me pull off all of these logistics.  It is quite a risk and also, I am in a state of total gratitude most of my life as I am fully aware of how much I depend on others in order to keep creating where and when I like.

     In this most recent situation, I am applying for a competition for which the application deadline is over a month away.  Also, results for which artworks are selected will be posted in early February, but there is only a two-week window to get accepted paintings to the gallery for exhibition!  I will still be out of Schengen Territory.

     To that end, I had shipped a painting out of Italia VERY early [before I left Firenze] to friends in the country of the competition and can only hope that judges accept my work for their exhibition far away.  I had no choice in this since the Italian government needs the shipper to file the proper paperwork to allow art to legally leave Italy.  No one else can supply my passport.  So, once that was in the works, I then wanted to get my application in the mail.  How is that for the totally incorrect sequence of events!


     All of this to say that while in Trieste, I needed to go to that dreaded place… alla Posta!  It is rarely a place I look forward to visiting because it seems that almost ALL business happens in the Italian Post Office.  Bills of all kinds are paid here.  Services cancelled here (such as my Internet some time ago); I was horrified that one could not cancel one’s account in the supplier’s own store!  But such is the law of the land.  Also, the Posta only accepts cash, no credit cards.  And having to have some unknown grand amount of cash to take care of unforeseen costs after waiting in line forever just chaps me.  [I know, I know:  SPOILED!]

     So, one of the first things a foreigner learns is that as soon as you enter the Post Office, find the yellow box and take a number.  Which category of number you choose depends on the business you need to take care of.  In the beginning and sometimes even now, I will take several different numbered categories to reduce my wait time in cases of confusion.

     I share with you this shot I took after I had looked around at my leisure with still no idea of when my turn at the window would come.  Note that my ticket is “P” (for packages and letters), and there is not one P up on the board!  Good thing I had time “to kill.”






     However, the plus side is that some of these post offices are lovely.  This one off of Piazza Vittorio Veneto in Trieste is on the prettier side.  You are greeted by stone carvings, simple and lovely architecture and even a large painting on canvas.  This one featured is Allegoria della Postaby an Austrian painter Franz Lefler (1831 – 1898).  I can only assume that this painting was created or at least installed around 1884 because the bronze plaque that gives the name of the painting and the artist also states, “Restored 23 June 1994, the 100th anniversary of the construction of the palazzo. Architect is Friedrich Setz; Restoration due to the Rotary Club Trieste.”



     While this painting is a little too cute and the some of the putti just a little too creepy faced for my taste, I rather like this painting.  It is inspiring and serves to remind us of what a truly good service the Post has always managed to provide, as far as delivering packages and letters go, especially during the holiday seasons.  Can you imagine human civilization without some means of communicating?  This painting has all the elements of storytelling, from the globe, to the Earthly reference of the tree branch, and the putti demonstrating all the ways in which letters and packages are transported (apparently through the heavens).  







    So, thank goodness for ugly babies, lots of birds, and a pretty gal here in translucent clothing.
My favorite might just be the little one trudging along the cloud carrying a small, but obviously heavy package on one shoulder.  He seems to be the only one not having a blast (reference to the horn player)!  I also like the baby Hermes flying in from Olympus.  This does, for me anyway, relate a sense of time. 
Anyway, may you find yourself grateful for things that others do, paid or not.  We all have choices.

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     On my way back to the train station, through a curious meandering path (for I walk as I speak/write), I found this small but charming little deli type of shop.  Called “La Salumeria” and run by some awfully kind ladies, I was lured in by the window display.  One gal apologized profusely because they had boxes everywhere as they unloaded new goodies and tried to fit it all attractively in their little space on the corner. 

     While I was paying for some sausage pasta that I bought for my new landlady and for my artist friend Marino who found my new home for me, I was distracted by the pretty cheese cakes.  I think it was the owner Elena Debiasi who wrote down for me the ingredients:  formaggio di capra francese con papaya o con pepe rosa  [French goat cheese with papaya or red pepper (balls)].  Mmm… I love goat cheese, and the other stuff too, actually.  Sadly, paying rent in two countries makes me keep spending for myself to a minimum.  


However, the ladies here are so friendly and put so much care into their shop and goods that if you EVER find yourself in Trieste, please seek them out. Find La Salumeria online or on Via C. Beccaria, 13    34133 Trieste, Italia.  Tel.  040 361470.    http://www.lasalumeria.eu

And in case you missed my recent art newsletter about Carrara and BLIND stone carvers, please click here:
Thank you.

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Happy birthday to my mamma!  
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If you are enjoying this blog, the writing and/or the images, you may help keep it coming by supporting the blog… make a donation on the blog itself (in euro or dollars, via PayPal links on this blog site.  Or click on my affiliate link to Amazon.com and as you buy for yourself, Amazon will thank me a wee bit.  A third way you may help is to forward this blog to someone you think may appreciate it.  The more readers, the more comments online, and wallah… lovers of art and Italy [and Croatia] unite.

Thank you for your interest and enthusiasm,
Kelly 

~ Kelly Borsheim, sculptor, painter, writer, teacher


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Trieste Italy Fountain of the Tritons Sculpture Part 2 of 3



Dear Art-loving friend,

     While on a layover in Trieste, Italy, I found the Post Office on one side of a grande piazza.   As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog postabout the architecture of Trieste, the city looks more Austrian than Italian, at least in parts.  This is one of those parts.   

     Even though I knew that I would be waiting a long time inside the post office, I decided to get a good look at this beautiful sculpture of three figures holding up a shell in the well designed Piazza Vittorio Veneto.  La Fontana dei Tritoni (The Fountain of the Tritons) was not running, no doubt because of the colder season upon us, but still it is lovely.


     Two of the figures are male, the third is female and her legs EACH become tails [while theirs do not].  Did the artist make these choices for a reason other than varying composition?  Hmmm.. I could not tell you.  I tried to find information on the sculptor once I arrived to my new home in Umag, Croatia.  I found a name that could be the one inscribed in the stone:  Austrian sculptor Franz Schranz.  However, the dates given for this artist are (1747 - 1835) and say that he is a painter, not a sculptor.   While my photograph of the signed fountain makes it hard to read the artist name, the date seems much clearer to be:  1899.  I had found another blog or Web page in an image search for this fountain and that was how I came up with the Franz Schranz name in the first place.  That page said the fountain was DESIGNED by him.  Perhaps that is accurate and someone else executed the sculpture.  However, if he is listed as a painter and not both painter and sculptor, I think the search could continue. 



     How could anyone make such a large work and in relatively recent history and have no one know the artist?  Hahah… maybe that is a silly question.  But perhaps the City of Trieste knows more and we silly travel bloggers do not stay in town long enough to ask or follow-up.

     I enjoy the chiseled fine features in the face, as you see in the first close-up image posted here.  At first I thought it was sweet that two of the figures were holding hands, but upon closer inspection, they are not really.  He is holding onto her, while she holds onto the structure.  Is he just THAT muscular or is his arm tensing muscle as he uses force upon her arm?  Is he helping or hurting?  He looks way more relaxed in the front shot of him.  And in general, all of the figures look as if the artist had recently studied anatomy and wanted to show off his knowledge of each and every sinew.
 

















    I remember very clearly, my friend and mentor Vasily Fedorouk saying, “When you learn to play the piano, you learn each and every note.  But when you make music, you do NOT play them all at once!”


    

     The other male Triton at first seemed a bit disconnected from the couple.  I thought that he was looking down, lost in his own thoughts while under the burden of his shared task.  However, look at my close-up shot of the Nereid (and her grapefruit breasts!).  She seems to be looking towards him, as if wondering if she is catching his attention!  Is she lifting her hair so that he can get a better glimpse at the goods?  And he… he appears to be looking her way, unable to get a full gander because of his position.  Are they flirting with one another?  Hahah.. well, why not?  Life is hard enough when you have a load on your back!  And if morality is the problem, well, they are probably destined to live the life as Tantalus did… any movement affects the whole and they are kept in place by their mutual task of holding up the shell fountain.

Thoughts without action can be torture!  
 



Enjoy the Solstice and this longest night of the year!
And in case you missed my recent art newsletter about Carrara and BLIND stone carvers, please click here:
Thank you.
++++
Blatant Promo:  Give art or at least an art book as a Christmas gift – more unusual and personal than many other choices.  Check out my site for options:  http://BorsheimArts.com

If you are enjoying this blog, the writing and/or the images, you may help keep it coming by supporting the blog… make a donation on the blog itself (in euro or dollars, via PayPal links on this blog site.  Or click on my affiliate link to Amazon.com and as you buy for yourself, Amazon will thank me a wee bit.  A third way you may help is to forward this blog to someone you think may appreciate it.  The more readers, the more comments online, and wallah… lovers of art and Italy [and Croatia] unite.
Thank you for your interest and enthusiasm,
Kelly
~ Kelly Borsheim, sculptor, painter, writer, teacher

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