Saturday, April 25, 2015

Florence Italy and Liberation Day


Dear Art Lover,


     I found myself in a part of Firenze, Italia, that I do not visit often.  And there was a ton of construction around the Viale and the Fortezza, so I found myself taking long detours on my bicycle as I worked my way over to the lab of an Italian acquaintance.  Giovanni, a poet on the side, wanted to show me how he could help me with my art business, with CDs, video, and other types of promotional products.  I am not really interested in publicity materials, but I am trying to brainstorm a way for more people to be able to enjoy visual art sort of along the lines of how writers and musicians have an advantage over we artists because they can really reduce their expenses by allowing fans to electronically download books, poems, and songs. So, now that I explained something about the art business and what I am trying to do, Giovanni and I are both thinking on it!


Church in Florence Italy Firenze Italia

      But I digress.  I mostly just wanted to share with you some images that you do not usually see when you see images of the Renaissance City.  This town has so much more to offer than most tourists (and even this “local”) is likely to discover without some effort.  So, I share with you some fun images.  

Florence Italy Firenze Italia

     Note the sign alerting people of potential electrocution by the bridge . . .  hahha.  

Florence Italy Firenze Italia

     And the street scene was fun.  I started to photograph the boys sitting out on their balcony.  Only later when I got home did I realize that they and the garbage man in the street were looking at something my way… how convenient!

Florence Italy Firenze Italia

     I just realized how many images I have of the ride home, so I will wait until tomorrow for those images.  Today is Liberation Day in Italia.  I know a family in Casignano just outside of Florence.  Renato is in his early 90s, but when I met him, he told me of his childhood memories of how American soldiers came to stay in his home in the hills.  They helped the Italians liberate their city near the end of WWII.  

     Now, I obviously had nothing to do with this, but I benefit from the actions of my countrymen so many years ago.  Italians in general have an affection and fondness for Americans that might only be matched by how Americans feel towards la bella Italia.  No one should ever celebrate war, but we can celebrate love, sharing, and a victory over oppression and violence.

Happy Liberation Day, Italia!


Peace,
Kelly

~ Kelly Borsheim, sculptor, painter, writer, teacher

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Leonardo da Vinci Leda and the Swan



Dear Art Lover,

     Last fall I met a couple in Zecchi’s Art Store in Firenze, Italia.  Soon after that meeting, I began to teach the husband Gary how to create his first painting . . . ever!  And what was his choice?  Leonardo da Vinci, naturalemente!  He has now finished his copy of Leda and the Swan.  The original design is by da Vinci, but the image as best known by paintings done by his students.  You may see more information here:
and the myth:


Leda and the Swan design by Da Vinci - student copy
Gary's copy of "Leda and the Swan"
      Anyway, Gary and I worked about two hours for perhaps three weeks last fall.  We used a color copy generated from a photo of the composition of his choice.  He painted in oils on wood prepared by a local Italian shop with gesso vero.  And he came back to Firenze a day or two after I was able to return in late March this year.  We continued our schedule for another three weeks.  He only recently finished this, his first painting and I must say that I think he took to it brilliantly!  Gary is a bit shy, so I am only posting pictures of his project, with his permission.  

     And me?  Well, any teacher will tell you that teaching teaches the teacher as well.  I came away from this experience with some new friends and having a much greater appreciation for the design work of Leonardo da Vinci.  One problem I have with these art schools in Firenze (or at least the one I attended), the skills taught are more designed to have your hand create what your eye and brain see.  Those are definitely necessary skills, but I want to explore more design. 

Anyway, Congratulations to Gary on completing his first painting!

Leda and the Swan design by Da Vinci - student copy

My other great news is that my book, “My Life as a Street Painter in Florence, Italy” is now available in Florence!  Find her at the Paperback Exchange near the famous and incredible Duomo (and also near Zecchi’s) at Via dell’Oche 4r   [Tel. 055 293460]  and online at:  http://www.papex.it/    Paperback is the main Anglo-American Bookshop and they are really kind there!

Peace,
Kelly

~ Kelly Borsheim, sculptor, painter, writer, teacher

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