Thursday, December 31, 2015

Modeling and Shoe Design

Dear Art Lover,

     Over the Christmas holiday, one of my girlfriends and I were reminiscing about our favorite models from our days together in Florence, Italy.  This one young man was intense and often studying during his breaks.  He was a professional cyclist and his figure told a lot.  Another friend of mine had a huge crush on him, so I organized a lunch one day at my nearby home and invited him over while she cooked.  Good times.  It is interesting to see how models lives change.  Some keep up with the work for artists; many move on.  Some do a little of both.

     I had an idea many years ago that my New Year’s Eve post would contain a new intentionally erotic artwork that I had made.  I wanted to bring back the memory of Pompeii and counteract this strange custom in the US (at least) of thinking negative thoughts about the bodies we have been given, as well as the bodies we have developed from what we have been given.  We have the capacity to bring and receive joy.  I believe that when we suppress many natural, but positive, qualities in ourselves, those desires manifest in crude ways.  I think it is better to teach our children healthy outlooks about our bodies and show them how magnificent the overall design!

     In this spirit, I would like to share with you my charcoal drawing of a standing Francesco.  I have not had time to create an intentionally erotic artwork, nor finish current figures in progress.  However, Francesco is a beautiful man, so I hope you can forgive me for sharing this drawing of him today.  I have many sketches of this model I wrote about in the above paragraph, but this one was a long-term study.  I am not sure why the school prefers to put the male models in this rather somber pose, but so be it.  Also, artists in the room got to pick their easel location based on a point system.  Since I was never great about doing homework or concerned about points, I was almost always last to choose.  I told myself that if I could get a good drawing from a position that no one else wanted, I would learn more.  But still, this pose rather fits our somber and often serious thinker, Francesco.

27 x 12" charcoal drawing on paper 2008
by Kelly Borsheim
For more information on this artwork, please visit:

     As I was writing this post this morning, a friend shared on Facebook this inspiring video.  I love it!  This is a fantastic story and with a Florence connection, too. Dream, but more importantly, listen (others sometimes see your voice before you do), and ACT. Watch this:  A great way to get inspired for your new year. And, yes, the shoes are cool, too!

     I hope you have fun plans for New Year’s Eve.  I will be dining with local friends and dancing afterwards.  I must say that I am surprised at the social life in these Tuscan mountains and was even more surprised when one of my British friends in Florence asked me if I was feeling isolated and lonely here.  Nope! 

     Joy and love and peace to you.

Ti voglio bene,

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Orion Constellation rising Over New Studio

Dear Art Lover,

     Last night my landlord Nori and a helper moved the rest of my belongings from his home in a nearby village to my new home.  He had been storing these things for me since October.  If you have seen my Facebook posts, you probably know how grateful I am for him.  I never want to move again.  I have spent weeks washing almost everything that I had in storage this summer to get rid of the mold smell.  Combined with Italia’s washing machines normally taking 2.5 hours per load and hanging things to dry, you can imagine why it took me so long. 

     That and helping Nori with construction / decorating decisions on my new home, while I lived in the one he has next door.  I am having flashbacks of building my studio with John B. in Texas back in 1995.  That was harder:  John and I were often up working until 3 a.m. on the plumbing and electricity, trying to keep up with our builder since we could not afford to pay him to wait for us.  With both John and me having day jobs at the time, we were pretty tired. Here in Italia, time moves in a different way, and in the end, it all comes together.

     I want be back to painting by at least the first of January, even if I am not fully set up in my studio.  Last night I went to pick one of my landlord’s lemons (he offered!) for a stew I was cooking and again, I got to admire one of the things I miss about my former home in central Texas:  the stars!  You do not see such skies in cities!  These are a few of my snapshots from last evening and you may see the constellation Orion (and his more famous belt) rising in the east above an agriturismo on a nearby mountain.  The latter image Orion is almost straight up in the sky:  “a beautiful sight, I am happy tonight.”

     And then this evening:  a bonfire in a neighboring town that I have never yet visited.  I love fire like this, anyway.  This really is feeling like a new year to me and a new life, indeed.



Monday, December 28, 2015

Magnify Art Appreciation

Magnifying Glass for Art Detail Museo dell'Opera Florence, ItalyDear Art Lover,

     I love it when museums do clever things to encourage one to stop and appreciate even the tiniest detail of good work.  In these photos, the Museo dell’Opera in Florence, Italy, has housed some delicate and precious art behind glass.  And then they created this wonderful contraption that slides horizontally along the glass front, and then the magnifying glass is attached to this structure so that the viewer may also move the magnifier up or down.

     I think the Louvre in Paris should do this with the famous Gioconda [as the Mona Lisa is called by the Italians], but applied in another way.  I never saw Leonardo’s masterpiece because I had only one day there and it was clear that there was either the choice to stand in line all day for a 15-second viewing (possible exaggeration) or I could see a lot of the rest of their collection.

Magnifying Glass for Art Detail Museo dell'Opera Florence, Italy      

     On a side note, I am loving my new community.  There is a bonfire in one of the neighboring villages on the 30th, and I will go to a dinner with dancing on New Years’ Eve.  Country people are so very kind and sincere, even if everyone knows just about everything about everyone.  Hahah.  I only really just moved in last night since I saw that my landlord was getting tired.  I told him not to worry about moving in the refridgerator until after Christmas because my guest and I were happy living in the house next door.  One “problem” with my landlord is that the more he looks, the more he finds.  But I adore him for wanting to make sure that this house looks and functions well for me.  What a treasure!