Saturday, May 3, 2014

Invite to Personalities Wine Art People Exhibition

Dear Art Lover,

As I began to unpack my art in front of Amerigo and Carmela, proprietors of VinOutlet here in central Florence, Italy, they started having some ideas and seeing possibilities.  They were immediately drawn to some portraits that I had created some time ago of some of my artist friends.  The portraits are a bit unusual in that they are white pastel on black paper.  I did the series out of curiosity.  Before this, I had created tone drawings with a variety of darks (charcoal and pastel) on light paper and I wanted to know how much one could stretch the range of tones by using only white. 

[leggere qui di seguito per questo invito in italiano]

First, the invite:  VinOutlet is featuring some of my artworks and you are invited:

Art Opening:  "Personalities:  Wine, Art, People"

Friday, 9 May:  6 - 9 p.m.

VinOutlet at Borgo Ognissanti 70/r

50123 Firenze, Italia   [Florence (FI) - Italy]

Tel.  +39 055 26 70 495

Come on out for a fun evening and start your weekend well!

Some of the personalities are:
  • "Hélène" has been paired up with Negramaro Organic "Pirro Varone."  This red wine comes from Apulia, a region in southeast Italy.  Negramaro comes from a very warm place with lots of personality.  "She is powerful, but not overwhelming," said Amerigo Coli.  "Red is the line that links passion to good food."

  • "Jessica" calls to mind the more elegant Ruché di Castagnole Monferrato "Il Firmato."   This red wine consists of 100% Ruché grapes and hails from Piedmont, the region most northwest in Italia.  She comes from an almost forgotten grape.  It was thought to have been destroyed when many Italian grapes took a hit back in 1910 after some imported plants from the USA included an insect for which Italian (and even Spanish and French) grapes had little immunity.  However, in the 1950s a young priest was sent to the region to try to rebuild it after the war.  He discovered the grape in a small field near the church and shared it with different farmers who revived the autochthonous grape.  This wine conjures images of feminine flowers, having soft and very perfumed scents of rose and geraniums.  Ruché has a 14.5% alcohol content.  She bites, but you do not feel the bite [or so Amerigo assures us!]

  • "Dana" is paired with Tegolaia Travignoli Supertuscan 2005.  This red wine is from Tuscany.  She is a more international wine, but is aged in small French oak barrels.  The smaller barrels give the vanilla or chocolate, sometimes spicy bouquet to the wine.  The phrase "SuperTuscan" refers to a wine made from blends of grapes that are grown in Tuscany, but which have a foreign origin.

I hope you enjoy this collaboration between VinOutlet and Borsheim Arts Studio.  You may access both the wine and the art online, but would it not be much more fun to just come and see us in Florence?

Salve a tutti gli amici dell'Arte!

Appena ho mostrato le mie opere ed i miei quadri a Carmela e Amerigo, proprietari di Vinoutlet a Firenze, abbiamo subito iniziato a parlare di idee e cose da fare. Entrambi sono stati attratti immediatamente da alcuni ritratti di miei amici artisti che ho creato qualche tempo fa.
Sono ritratti un po' fuori dall'usuale, sono infatti pastelli bianchi su cartoncino nero. E' una serie di disegni fatti quasi per curiosità. Prima di fare questi in bianco e nero, avevo creato disegni con una varietà di chiaro-scuro (carboncino e pastello) su carta leggera e volevo sperimentare e capire quanto fosse possibile espandere la gamma di toni usando soltanto il bianco.

Alcuni dei miei lavori sono in esposizione da Vinoutlet e siete invitati all'evento:

"Personalità: vino, arte, persone."

Venerdi 9 maggio dalle 18.00 alle 21.00

Vinoutlet Borgo Ognissanti, 70/r

50123 Firenze - Italia

Tel. +39 055 26 70 495

Vi aspettiamo per una serata divertente ed iniziare bene il fine settimana!

Ecco alcune delle personalità:

"Hélène" è stata abbinata al Negramaro "Pirro Varone". Un vino pugliese, proveniente da una regione ricca di sole e personalità. E' un vino con personalità ma non irruento" come dice Amerigo Coli. "Rosso è il trait d'union che unisce la passione ed il buon cibo"

"Jessica" ricorda invece il più elegante Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato. "Il Firmato" è un Ruchè in purezza che arriva dal Piemonte, frutto di un uva riscoperta negli anni '50 che si pensava distrutta dalla filossera arrivata dagli Stati Uniti agli inizi del '900. E' stato un prete delle campagne di Castagnole a rivalorizzarla ed a far arrivare il suo nome ai nostri giorni. Ruchè ricco di profumi floreali di rosa e geranio. Un po' come Jessica, i suoi 14,5° mordono ma dolcemente.

"Dana" è stata abbinata al Tegolaia, Supertuscan 2005, rosso del Chianti Rufina e fra tutti, è il vino di gusto più internazionale, come il personaggio di Dana che ha viaggiato il Mondo in lungo e largo. E' invecchiato in barrique francesi  che ricordano sia la vaniglia che le spezie più piccanti.

Sperando che questa collaborazione fra Vinoutlet e  Borsheim Arts Studio  sia di vostro gradimento  vi aspettiamo numerosi per scoprire il "gusto dell'arte".

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Florence Italy Artisan Fair

Dear Art-Loving Friend,

     Today is the last day for Florence, Italy's "Mostra Internazionale dell’ Artigianato" or as my friend calls it, "The Ethnic Fair."  She looks forward to it every year.  This was the first time that I had ever attended.  It is held in the Fortezza da Basso, a huge contemporary exhibition space and former stronghold for the city.

     We went on Sunday, with the reduced entrance fee of only 4 euro (instead of 5,50).  [It is azalea season here, so the entrance was pretty.  Inside there are TONS of booths and they are organized in various sections. 

     My sister and brother-in-law are a big fan of beers, especially the flavored beers or regional brands.  This book caught my eye long enough to get offered a shot of beer for breakfast.  [Alex says this means "Success." ha]

The following shot was in the home and garden section, I think.  It seems so Italian to me and is a fun idea:

     I enjoyed the building containing recycled crafts that featured hand-made practical things from everyday objects.  Although well designed, I am not sure that the purses made from inner tubes and tires would suit me.  I could smell them from a fair distance!  However, there were many clever and some attractive ideas. 

     In the section of health products, my friend and I got to sample "Ass Milk" [a Kelly translation!] on our hands.  This lotion is made from donkey milk and appears on the expensive side.  But it felt good and was not at all greasy.  Naturally, I bumped into a friend of mine.  He patiently waited to say hello until I was done with the ass.

     The rich colors of spices never cease to charm me and there were several booths offering up these colorful and tasty treats.  I just wish that I knew more about what to do with them.

     Enjoy some of the largest loaves of bread that I have ever seen:

     And what patterns these umbrellas en masse make!

     My friend and I spent most of the time in the lower level of one building... what she calls the Ethnic Fair.  It is arranged by country, so it reminded me a bit of Disney's "It's a Small World" or Epcot... I bought rocks, but there were plenty of other temptations.  The little girl dresses are from Madagascar and really adorable.  Just another reason to go see that island country.

     I had to get the dog shot in since I love dogs inside... who knew really until I had my own companion.  He changed everything.  Italia is definitely open to allowing dogs in anywhere.  I just wish that Firenze had more public garden spaces for the animals to enjoy.

     This next is an image of one of the several varieties of 3-D "carving" machines.  I know that sculptors are jumping on board this idea of scanning their designs or creating sculptures on a computer and then cutting them out using a program and automatic blades, but for me, that is just not sexy enough and takes the tactile fun out of it for me.  However, the technology is in use and I cannot stop "progress" even if it ruins my own career.  And truthfully, I am still fascinated by machines. and engineering.

     This last building we entered contained more of the finer arts.  This last image is not a painting.  It is one of the images created in "pietra dura" (literally translated into "hard stone").  It is the fine art of mosaic and each piece of stone is carefully choosen for its colors and patterns and then precisely hand cut to fit into the next shaped stone.  I have mixed feeling for "Pietra dura."  If the right stones are chosen and the design is artistic, then I tend to feel awe when I see them.  If not, they look kitsch and horrid.

     Today is the last day of the Arts and Crafts fair at the Fortezza.  It is open until 10 p.m. today and I am told it is bargaining day more than any of the others were.  Last night was Firenze's "Notte Bianca" and between that and having friends in town this week, I am getting a late start on the day.  Today is also another one of those Italian spring holidays.  So, I need to get to work now!  Thank you for reading.