Friday, April 30, 2010

Pastel Streetpainting in Florence, Italy

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

Yesterday was a fun day in streetpainting here in Florence, Italy. I saw some old friends, met some people that I only knew from my Web site and Facebook, had a little party, and even got some pastel painting done in the street.

I have been given Thursdays with my colleague Johnny from Ireland. I drew with him last year, as well, and he is fun to work with. However, he draws with our friend Kumiko on Wednesdays and asked if I minded picking up where they left off the day before. Johnny models in the mornings (when I arrive to work) and later on Thursday evenings, he attends life-drawing sessions. I should, too, but since I only am permitted to draw one day as one of the madonnari fiorentini, I will draw in the studio another day.

Allora, we drew Michelangelo’s “La Sacra Familia” otherwise known as “Tondi Doni” -- all in pastels directly on the street. I was amused that a woman working as a badante (assisting people needing special health care in their homes) and living in Firenze for the past two years (but from the country of Georgia) stopped to ask me if I was Russian. I get this guess only second to my being French. It always amuses me and makes me want more to visit Russia.

Last year I wrote about some of my street performing friends, including Mimito Sorrydista He stopped by to say hello and I got to see him as a blonde this time ! I hope you enjoy these images.

This next image was of me with a high school class visiting Florence from Belgium. This was their last day in the Renaissance City. They stayed with me for at least 20 minutes (good for street painting visitors) and later several of the boys returned just before getting on the train home. I asked them that after a week, what was their favorite part of Florence and one boy (white T, standing) said enthusiastically, "You!"
I think he has a future in politics or maybe as a lady-killer. :-)

If you would enjoy getting away from your normal routine and working with pastels, won’t you please consider this art workshop I am teaching in an amazing location on the Big Island of Hawai’I. We will work on-site, and even with a model for part of the workshop. This happens in early September and is hosted by Hawaiian Art Journey and the Kona Village Resort. They will take care of all of your concerns so that you may relax and focus on making your own art.

Registration is refundable up to 30 days before the workshop starts and we need to get commitments from art lovers early so that you all have time to make your travel plans. (You may also combine this art event as a romantic getaway – guests are allowed to have non-workshop attendees accompany them.) Check out the details below.
Pastels in Paradise – Art Workshop with Kelly Borsheim
Hawaiian Art Journey

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Liberation Day Italy

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

Sunday, April 25th was a national holiday in Italy, best known as the Festa della Liberazione, or Liberation Day. They celebrate the day in 1945 in which the Allied troops finally liberated Italy from the fascists. It is also a date in which fallen soldiers are remembered and honored. There are a few partigiani (veterans) left from this time and on this day, I helped my local friends celebrate them.

Piazza G. Poggi near the Torre San Niccolò was filled with tables and chairs and my friends and I enjoyed a sit-down dinner in the sun, with unlimited wine and we even made new friends as others joined our table. We wrapped up our long lunch with cantuccini from Prato and vin santo (those lovely crunchy cookies dipped in a sweet liqueur – my favorite!)

After lunch, but before the dolci (dessert), there was a program to honor the vets and one of the attending partigiano made an impassioned speech, that I believe included hoping that Silvio Berlusconi could be defeated. The Italian President is not particularly popular in these parts, and no one I know can fathom how he keeps getting re-elected (other than that he owns all of the media companies.) But, in truth, maybe I was not paying attention closely to the language and the vet was just wishing the president good judgment or something.

Lots of singing followed with folks afterwards forming a small parade to walk uphill to Piazzale Michelangelo to see the irises and other flowers. My party and I moved instead down Via San Niccolò for a coffee before heading down to the Bargello Sculpture Museum and just taking a giro around town. Later that evening, we enjoyed a series of concerts in Piazza Santo Spirito.

For me, this was the first consistently warm day and it was lovely to be out in it with the celebrations going on. A special day for me, too, despite the fact that I did not get any art accomplished. So, now I leave you with images so that I may get to the work at hand. If you would like to see more, check out my Facebook Photo Albums. Enjoy. PACE! (Peace).

Liberation Day explained on