Friday, September 21, 2007

Pietrasanta, Italy - Italia

Today, I visited Pietrasanta with my friends Hafiza, Dorian, and Ling. Pietrasanta is an art town. From what I have understood,
the town became a home for working sculptors of the nearby famous Carrara marble. Carrara was too expensive for the artists to
live in, so they moved south, but still close to the Alpes mountains. Both Carrara and Pietrasanta are in the Italian region of Tuscany.

I have included here a few of my images from the inside of the San Martino Duomo (cathedral, but more often interpreted as simply "dome").
"Cappella della madonna del sole" (Chapel of the Madonna of the Sun) was constructed in 1823, but the origins are much older.
Enjoy the photos. I am tired from long consecutive days, so I hope the image are enchanting enough.
ciao, ciao, K

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Street Painting in Firenze, Italia

I drew with pastels again yesterday for the Madonnara work in Florence. This time -- no blues. I am out of blue pastels and did not want to buy more right now.
So, I chose to re-create another of my favorite works: The Libyan Sibyl of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel at the Vatican. I love the colors and the twisting figure.

It was a fun day and I met many people; some even remembered me from last week. I even met the man who does Charlie Chaplin
It was another good experience and my body thus far has not hurt nearly as much as it did
after my first day as a street painter (3 days!). This must be all of the stairs and walking that I am doing here.
You perhaps can tell that as the day went on I got more tired and my drawing was not complete by the end of the day. I added the little
figure on the left in the last thirty minutes. I also did some kind of number on that nose! Sheesh. Oh well, I received
many compliments on how I am able to capture form. For me, this was kind to hear that people can even distinguish these sorts
of comments. Isolation is necessary to do work, but this direct feedback from an audience is quite fun and appreciated as well.

I hope you enjoy -- and see you after some of my travels in the next few days.
Ciao, ciao.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Pigeons On Art

Ha! That title was not intended to mean that those birds have become art critics! Funny re-read on my part.

I started to photograph various themes during my several trips to Italia, including the humbling (to a sculptor) "Birds on Art" series.
Specifically, pigeons landing on sculptures. In truth, I am not sure which is worse -- the birds hanging out all over the
art (and I sometimes mean ALL over) or the spikes and other ugly dangerous additions some sculpture conservators put on
the tops of artworks and architecture.

The top image was taken in Piazza Signoria, near the famous Uffizi gallery. The other two images of bronze copies of the wonderful Michelangelo's stone sculptures are seen by 'molti touristi' at the
artist-named Piazzale Michelangelo, which overlooks the city of Florence. Seriously, what is it like to get no respect?
I think we can all relate at some point in our lives.

Why people insist on feeding pigeons is beyond me. Yes, they are pretty birds. But disease carriers too, not to mention that
they are rather large, so waste in large masses is abundant. John and I had a neighbor in Texas many years ago who said that
cities would call him to come get rid of their pigeon population. Apparently in Austin, Texas, when pigeons gathered on rooftops
and did what we all do, their poo eventually turned to dust and was blown all over the city. A different kind of smog.
And our neighbor joked (I hope it was) that he sold these pigeons to gourmet restaurants in the Northeast USA.

Here in Florence (Firenze is its real name), Italy, a law was passed last time I was here: a 50 € (euro) fine to anyone
caught feeding a pigeon। So stay healthy -- and rich. ciao, ciao.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Italian Puppeteers - Florence, Italy

So, I am awake all night - just restless I guess. And the night is surprisingly warm and after 2 am, quiet. I am still trying to catch up with all of what I want to do this week. But here is the view of last Sunday's puppeteers in the Piazza San Marco in Florence, Italy. The day was beautiful and I loved hearing the music that went with their act drifting up to my room while I painted.

Thank you to all who sent me feedback on my new blog, as well as the two requests for my "Blue Madonna" -- she is now SOLD. And the request for the dancing olive trees of Tuscany to become a painting -- I may try a landscape, so stay tuned . . .

And thank you to Alyson Stanfield who pointed out to me that this blog only allows Google users. I have a lot to learn about this blogging stuff. Alyson in Golden, Colorado, USA, writes a fabulous newsletter for artists, and has an interesting and useful blog, as well as tele-classes, e-books, and more. Check out her site and offerings at:
blog -->

Now, I am off to paint more! Ciao, ciao, K

Monday, September 17, 2007

My "Blue Madonna"

This morning I returned to the art supply store closest to my flat and purchased the cobalt blue, a yellow, and some oil painting medium. This stuff is so juicy, I had forgotten how sometimes I just want to suck the paint right outta the tube. It is this squishiness that I love so much about oil painting and what led me from paint to clay. Sexy!

Hmmm. I am almost finished with my painting on a board of my copia di "The Blue Madonna" by Carlo Dolci. I shot this image of my little painting this afternoon -- not the best lighting and not the most parallel I have ever gotten the camera. She is about 16" x 12" -- I should have measured her before I left my room to go use the Internet.
However, I really like this image and I hope that you will, too, because I am offering her to you at a very special price of
only $200, plus $25 to ship her from Florence, Italy, to the destination of your choice anywhere in the world (with a good address).

How to Buy: I accept checks, cash, and credit cards via PayPal. The latter is probably the easiest method -- and safest for both parties. If you would like to have my "Blue Madonna" please send me an e-mail that includes your request, your mailing address, and most importantly, your e-mail address. I will then send an invoice to your e-mail address, and we go from there.

Thank you so much for your support and interest!
ciao, ciao.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Tuscany, Italy - Grape Harvest and Olive Trees

Today I painted all day until 16:00. I had to stop because I did not have the right color blue, nor did I have 'il colore giallo' [yellow] to warm up the blue that I bought yesterday. And of course, this being Sunday ['Domenica'], the art supply stores are not open. Sigh . . .
But I love painting alone in my room, with sounds of the life in the piazza below. Today, there was a small family putting on a puppet show for tips. After having the experience of being a madonnara for a day, I appreciate more the work done by street entertainers.

Yesterday, I took the train for the short trip to Sesto Fiorentina to visit my friend Hafiza. We walked to some nearby olive and grape plots. Although the light was too harsh for good photos, I am including one here of some of the olive trees. Do they not look like dancing spirits to you?
And as Hafiza, an artist friend who loves drawing and making lithographs, pointed out: gone are the days of the romantic harvesting grape images. Today, they use plastic buckets, tractors, and today's [relatively] boring clothing.