Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Accidental Viewings Florence Italy

Cari Amici,
So, I have had a rather strange 24 hours, prefaced by the fact that I did not work my Monday as a madonnara. That will cost me. Although I was feeling too tired to create a pastel drawing on the street here in Florence, Italy, I could really use all the euros I can get!

OK, so if you do not care for a wee bit of naughtiness, do not read further . . .

Instead of street painting, I worked on my écorché and my charcoal portrait of my friend Inga. On my way home from the studio, I crossed the Ponte Grazie and walked up Via Dei Benci. Just before I reached Piazza Santa Croce, something caught my eye. I was not sure if it was a motion or perhaps the light from the street falling in a dramatic manner, but I glanced inside of a car that was parked alongside the sidewalk I was on. Simultaneously, I thought, “That stick shift is really off-center” (my shape exercises coming into play, no doubt ;) and “What a wonderful deep golden color.” (I am an artist after all.)

Then a movement of the vertical kind, and I completely understood what I was just walking past! OMG, who DOES that? In such a busy street, I mean . . . Yet, even as I walked by him, I started to doubt what I had just seen. So, in my typically curious fashion, I turned around to look. Sure enough, I saw through his windshield a man sitting in the driver’s seat of the car and rather enjoying . . . perhaps the fact that he was without a doubt “caught.” I laughed out loud as I kept on walking. How funny people are.

Then today I was again walking and ran across this lovely vision on Via dell’ Ulivo: A mother was helping her young son learn how to pee in the streets of Florence! Charming, eh? She was actually pulling his pants down for him and teaching him to spread his legs wide to avoid the splatter.

Perhaps because my friends were surprised that I had not whipped out my camera the night before (but seriously, was there not enough whipping going on without my contribution?), I pulled out my digital and caught the following images for your viewing pleasure.

Well, at least we know how people learn how to behave.
Till next time, do not let those allergies get you down.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Figure Drawing Charcoal

Cari Amici,
What possesses me to share these images escapes me. I am the queen of macchiata (blotchiness). What you see here is my work-in-progress of my figure drawing in charcoal of the Italian model Valentina. I wrote about her transfer to the Umbria paper on this blog on 24 Febbraio.

Here you see that I have not only established my three main tones, but now I have begun to work the darks to get the figure “to turn” (look 3-dimensional) and try for a movement of tone in my background. Hence the blotchies. Apparently, as I have heard many people here in Florence, Italy, say, I draw like a sculptor. I exaggerate. I have yet to find this truly objectionable, but it does mean that I have to do more work. If I would simply lay in the tones correctly, I could create more art.

Instead, I exaggerate and then must settle it down. I justify my behaviour by explaining that I do not have access to the model for nearly enough time and need to make these notes to myself of what I have observed and chosen to do about those observations. But then, we all justify our behaviour, si?

Shopping at d. bartolini in Florence, Italy

I am not much for shopping, but I do love images and the patterns within them. So, one night recently while walking around Florence, Italy, I passed this kitchen store named d. bartonlini on the corner of Via Buffalini and Via dei Servi, and not too far from the famous Duomo of Florence.


Ciao, ciao.