Saturday, January 10, 2009

Portrait Design

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

I recently published another art newsletter from my Web site in which I discussed a little bit about designing portraits. Since that is a separate, but possibly overlapping subscription list (of those interested in my art), I try not to duplicate too much content with this blog. So, if portrait art or design interests you, please click here and keep reading:

Thank you!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Fiesole Italy

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

I attended a party up the mountain from Florence not too long ago. It was at a private home in Fiesole, Italy. As much as I love the city of Florence, I often miss trees. And air. Of course, everyone breathes in Florence, but let’s face it: nothing beats mountain air! I loved my escape to this party!

This first image is simply a reminder for me of a funny event that occurred when I got my first apartment in Florence. Imagine my joy as I waited at the bus stop of Fiesole’s main piazza of seeing a man waiting for the bus in his slippers! That is SO me! Two years ago shortly after I moved to Florence, I bought slippers at a little shoe store not far from my apartment. I knew that the stone floors would kill my calves. However, I felt that my sense of fashion was insulted when the saleslady said to me in Italian, “You do understand that these shoes are to be worn only indoors!” How could she know?

These next two images are from a walk I took up in Fiesole. The paths overlook the Florentine valley. I got a kick out of the “Pericolo di Caduta” (‘Danger of Falling’) sign. In the sunset picture, the famous marble quarries of Carrara are behind one of the pointier mountain peaks on the horizon (left of center).

And this last romantic image is to share with you so much of the warmth of winter in Tuscany. I love these Italian homes of stone and wood. The oranges and the iron just completed the natura morte for me. Enjoy!

P.S. Fiesole is pronounced “Fee-AY-so-lay.”

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Epiphany National Holiday in Italy

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

Today many businesses were closed for the national holiday celebrating the Epiphany. There is also a legend here in Italy about the Befana. She is an old woman, usually depicted as a witch on a broom, who brings gifts to children on the Epiphany. I enclose an image here of a hanging ornament my fiorentino friend Simone gave me last night when we met at the Edison bookstore for a chat.

There was a large parade in the central part of the city. I missed some of it because after my drawing session today, I went to visit some friends and got involved in a rather serious conversation (how could it not be?) about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. However, I managed to ride my bike up to the Uffizi Corrider and snapped a few shots of some rather handsome costumed Italians.

And I even heard the voice of my friend Jasmine behind me and thus I surprisingly met up with her and Jesper and Inga. I love this small town!

And since I am celebrating eight years of creating art full-time this month (I consider the 11th to be the actual anniversary) by offering free shipping from Florence, Italy, of any portrait I do for you, I wanted to leave you with this little pencil drawing. Last October, I drew this almost-profile view Nestor, a Columbian that I know here in Florence. The original pencil drawing is approximately 3 x 3 inches. He is available, just ask. Thank you!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Portrait Drawing

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

Although I have not seen his work in a long time, for years I have been an admirer of Texas-based painter Ray Donley’s dramatic and contrasty figures. Recently I have been improving small details on a portrait drawing I created in December of a beautiful Sicilian woman that I know. She is actually one of my madonnari (street painting) colleagues here in Florence, Italy.

While working the edges of the white pastel on a black textured paper, I wondered if Ray had influenced this series of white-on-black portraits that I have been doing off and on these last few months. I thought I was simply pushing the limits of tone with this new material for me, but perhaps there are many parts to my subconscious thoughts.

Anyway, “Jessica” is a portrait drawing that measures approximately 16 x 12 inches. When my friend painter Tish Lowe saw my drawing, she commented how the texture of the paper that I left showing through on the hand and arm resembled fish net stockings. It seemed to go well with this somewhat 1960s looking portrait, as others have observed.

If you would like to add “Jessica” to your art collection or give her as a gift, please click on the PayPal button here or contact me.

original portrait drawing
by Kelly Borsheim
black textured Mi-Teintes paper
with white pastels
16 x 12 inches
$150 + $20 shipping (anywhere)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Portrait Drawings

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

Buon Anno! or as my friend Elena texted me “Tanti tanti auguri per uno strepitoso anno nuovo!” or “I wish you many, many best wishes for a resounding New Year!”

Last March 24th, I read in an article by James Panero titled “An Old Master in Ruins - Why is an El Greco worth less than a Koons? Gallerist Larry Salander called it a moral travesty, and decided, catastrophically, to do something about it.”

I liked the quote:

New York art dealer Larry Salander said, “Art is the human attempt to make one plus one equal more than two.”

Since this January marks my eighth anniversary as a full-time artist, I wanted to do something special. As many of my blog followers know, I have been working in Florence, Italy, and learning more about creating abstract shapes while designing 2-dimensional art. I have also been making portraits of many of my friends here in Italy to continue to put these techniques to work.

Allora, for this month, I would like to offer to create a portrait for you of a loved one (alive or gone) and ship it anywhere in the world from Italy for free. Portrait prices are below and based on the medium and size you desire. And you do not even need to leave your home.

I often work via e-mail correspondence -- sending images along the way for client feedback. So if you would like to send me an image of the person(s) you want to have a portrait of, please contact me via my e-mail address:

When I work from photos, I prefer no flash. Directional lighting is more flattering and dimensional. More than one photo is helpful to let me see something more of the personality. I also need a signed and dated release from the photographer to allow me to use the image to create a drawing (copyright stays with the photographer, I only need a one-time release/permission to use the image).

You may choose:
Half life-size or smaller in pencil: $300 per head/person
Life-size (approx.) in charcoal: $500 per head/person
Life-size oil painting – monochromatic (sepia): $700 per head/person
If you prefer color, a life-size pastel drawing: $600 per head/person, life-size
Plus, FREE SHIPPING from Florence, Italy.

Please let me know if this is a gift or if you are having another deadline (such as an anniversary party or wedding) so that I can make sure you receive your original art on time. And of course, if you are here in Florence, Italy, I would love to make a drawing of you from life.

Thank you for your continued interest and support.