Welcome! See Italy (and more) through the eyes of an artist: American sculptor and painter Kelly Borsheim creates her life and art in Italy and shares her adventures in travel and art with you. Come on along, please and Visit her fine art work online at: www.BorsheimArts.com
Many years ago, I got to stay in a friend’s
home in a magical place called Casignano.It is in Tuscany,
on the outskirts of Firenze.I got to be
friends with the farming family there.As I write, the patriarch Renato is 94 years old.When I first met him, he told me of being a
little boy in the same house during the American arrival to help Italians
liberate Firenze during WWII.American
soldiers stayed in his home, hiding out in the hills surrounding Firenze until the
moment was right.For this experience
[and perhaps others afterwards], Renato has a good feeling about
Americans.I only lived as their
neighbor for a few months in total over two years (having returned to the
States between times), but my friendship with this family came about quickly
and has lasted.
I recently completed a pastel sketch of
some of the dancing olive trees in Casignano.During one of “our” olive harvest times, I saw little Marco, grandson of
Renato, running down the hill and just goofing off while the rest of us picked
olives.I have always relished this
memory because childhood has a freedom we rarely experience in later years.
For years I have returned to Casignano for the “raccolta delle olive” (olive harvest) each November.Renato’s wife Giuliana cooks up a huge lunch
for all of the workers, mostly family.Natalino
is one of Renato’s brothers and I have seen him year after year.He is even in a previous blog post, as you
may see in this image below.Natalino is
a name many Italians born on or near Christmas receive.[Natale
= Italian for ‘Christmas’ and the suffix “-ino”
This past November, I could not get down
there for the harvest.I have a new home
in the country some distance away from them and a new pair of brothers to help.However, I was able to get down to Casignano
after dark for dinner last November.Like most families, this one had members coming and going and I did not
get to see everyone for long or some at all.
A couple of days ago, my friends posted on
Facebook that Natalino has died.So, I
dedicate this blog post to him.He was a
“bravo uomo,” a good man and a kind
For my fellow nature lover, I would like
to share a few snapshots I took while on [the dog] “Gregory Duty” this past
Thursday as my landlord volunteered for ambulance duty.In Italia, this group of mostly volunteers is
called the Misericordia.Can you tell how I love the bees?More images are on my Facebook page.
birthday to my artist friend Hélène Delmaire!