Thursday, October 30, 2014
Volterra Italy and Dragons
Dear Art-loving friend,
One of my artists friends (and a collector, God love him!) and his wife moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico years ago… a famous town for gobs of art galleries. When they came to visit me in Florence, Italy, they told me that they thought it would be a great place for an artist to live (Santa Fe), but they discovered that they soon became the most visited household ever, a hotel for all of their friends to see a cherished town. So, we enjoyed a one-evening visit, but they decided that I probably did not want visitors for long in another famous art town that receives lots of artists.
However, there is a balance and I have a tendency to stay in my studio a LOT! It is actually nice to have an excuse to get out and see/show something of Florence and sometimes other places in Italia. For this, I am very grateful that stone carver Art Wells and his wife Virginia wrote to me and I not only got to show them something of my beloved Firenze, but I also tagged along with them to see Volterra, Italy. I had no idea that this town is famous for alabaster and carving! It is full of artists, including a wonderful glassartist Corinna Butler who made a necklace that Virginia now wears.
I am breaking up the Volterra images into three posts. This one contains a few of my daytime images. This first shot was taken as I walked around the area of the hostel in which I slept, Chiostro delle Monache. The second image is the dining area for the hostel’s breakfast (included in your bed price). While this place is located outside of the city walls and my friends and I got lost as they drove me out there around 11 p.m., as Art said the next morning when he came to pick me up, “Once you know where it is, it is very easy to find.” Truly, there are not so many roads in this area. However, if you take the wrong fork in one, it may be a while before you can find a way back. The people here were SO NICE! Even the woman who played phone tag with me during my various postponements on arrival told me that she had upgraded me to a better room. She even complimented me on my art. She said that she saw my Web site in my e-mail signature and checked it out!
I like how many dragons there are and easily spotted here in Volterra. [Of course, Firenze has them too and I was delighted showing Art and Virginia around in the Renaissance City because I saw another one I had not noticed before.]
Not far from the Hotel San Lino where Virginia and Art stayed (with the lovely Denise at the reception desk!) is a church. It has an open door, and that means an invitation to come in, right? It is very simple inside, but I thought it was charming how the artwork behind the altar was a combination of sculpture with only a little bit of fresco (usually it seems the other way around).
This next image may not belong to the interior I just showed you. I actually took this one first, as we arrived into town, so, I think this is a location more central. Still there are so many BUSY art-filled spaces in Italia that I find myself drawn to the beauty of the more simple arrangements so that the running hamster in my brain can take a break a bit.
Now, for today, I leave you with images of two more dragon sculptures. The last image I found a bit funny. I have been looking for a place to live in Italy. I need to find a place in the semi-country for my mental state and love of trees AND my very strong desire to carve stone on a regular basis. But I also enjoy my car-less life. So, I need good Internet in my home, and access to public transportation, as well as a grocery store.
Volterra not only has good tourist traffic (for selling my art) and has an active and professional art community, but it also has bus transport that takes you into the center of town (the old part). The drawbacks for me are that it is located on the top of a low mountain with wide vistas. This makes me think it gets VERY cold because it is so exposed to the air and winters could be tough. But also, as we walked around the town, pigeon poo could be seen all along the pathways. It seemed more concentrated in this little town than in many others I visit. I was a bit amused to see pigeon on a menu in Volterra. Someone, at least, is trying to solve the problem! Ha.
I would feel honored if you took a look at some of my stone carvings. Each is one-of-a-kind:
Thank you for your interest and enthusiasm,
~ Kelly Borsheim, sculptor, painter, writer, teacher