Friday, January 23, 2009

Art Images of Italy Winner

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

This past holiday season, I was one of many bloggers who offered prizes for the Menu for Hope V raffle fundraiser for the UN World Food Program. Those who donated funds in the form of buying raffle tickets were able to choose which prizes they would like to try to win.

This morning I mailed out my donated prize: the six giclée on watercolor paper of some of my images of Italy. The lucky bidder was and is . . . Ms. Alison Violano

Congratulations, Alison!

If you like the images you see in the included photo, please know that they are also available as giclée on canvas. I am selling these larger (16 x 20 inches) giclée to help raise money to pay for teeth for Rudy Sanchez, a young man that I have mentored since 1992. Rudy was born with Treacher Collins Syndrome and has been having surgeries to improve his life and his looks ever since he was born. After more reconstruction surgery in his jaw, his family does not have the $13,000 that Medicare will not pay for Rudy to have a set of choppers.

If you would like to help or if you would like to know more about Rudy and Treacher Collins Syndrome, please visit:

Rudy, Treacher Collins Syndrome, and Italy

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Lost and Stolen Florence Italy

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

Bike theft is big business in Florence, Italy. Still, last night while I attended a free concert by Luca Carboni at Librerie [bookstore] Feltrinelli on Via dei Cerretani, between the Duomo and the stazione, I hardly expected the seat of my bike to be stolen!

I always use two locks on my bike -- one for each tire, with at least one connected to something fixed to the ground. (A guy I know who used to steal bikes even gave me advice on which kind of locks to buy.) I had removed the bell since I am not the type to use it, but it never occurred to me to get a lock to secure the seat somehow. I am really frosted, especially since this bicycle belongs to my friend Hafiza. And it is a cherry, classic bike!

Other things have been stolen, such as a pair of gloves I left on the windowsill outside my ground floor room as I was locking up my bicycle. But in truth, I have received more than what was stolen from me, so I was able to let it go. But also, those items belonged to me so only I experienced the loss.

Allora, to contradict these little evil acts, I leave you with something more positive. Some time ago I had started to photograph the small, but kind things that strangers do for one another. This series is about Found Objects (often gloves, keys, and other personal items) that people place closer to eye level in the hopes the owner will retrace his steps and find the item up off of the dirty streets of Florence. Enjoy. And may “my” bicycle seat find a better bum.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Self Portrait Painting

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

My friend Rodney is not the first person to ask me why I have not painted my self-portrait before. I often get this question from my students or other beginning artists. And I always feel confused when I hear this. So many of my works have so much of myself in them, that the “self” part seems inevitable. (And John Borsheim often joked that my stone carving “Lips” was a self-portrait. She is a sculpture of a big mouth.)

But also, I have spent the majority of my waking life looking outwards, watching the world around me and processing what I see, that I often believe that who I am is what is inside my head. But of course, we are all more complicated than even that.

Allora, I started this self-portrait on Christmas Day. She is an oil painting and measures 35 x 25 cm (about 13.5 x 10 inches). I wanted to try to paint in a looser style than I normally do, getting less tight as the image moves away from the face. I hope you enjoy the look. And if you really like her, please enjoy free shipping worldwide from Italy.

I am sharing this artwork with you as part of my artist anniversary celebration this month. I am discovering how interesting portrait drawing can be and am offering to create a portrait for you of any loved one from your photos (or you can sit for me if you are in Florence, Italy).

Contact me for details (just respond to this blog or visit my site).

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 were here in Florence, Italy, I would love to make a drawing of you from life.

Thank you for your continued interest and support. Happy Inauguration Day, America.