Saturday, June 27, 2015
Thursday, June 25, 2015
This is a quick demonstration of mine from my recent workshop at Dakota Art Center in Mt. Vernon, WA. It was a great group of artists in my class (16 students) and it was wonderful meeting Craig Lemley and Lisa of the Dakota Art Center. Thank you, Craig and Lisa for a flawless workshop.
This 11x14 demonstration pastel is available by auction on ebay. Click the title above to watch the auction or copy and paste this:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/-/231604232663? Bidding begins at $200.00.
Friday, June 12, 2015
MODEL WITH STRIPED TOWEL is an 8x10 pastel, a bit larger than my usual small pieces, so bidding begins at $200.00. You can click on the title of this post to go to ebay, or you can click here to go to Daily Paintworks.
This doesn't mean I'll be posting something every day. But if things quiet down a bit, I'll be posting more often.
Speaking of quiet...it is not quiet here. My prolific roses were completely spent when I got home from Italy. The weeds had taken over my garden again. But it's good to be home.
I leave Wednesday to teach a 3 day class in the Seattle area, at Dakota Art Center (http://www.dakotaartcenter.com/classes/2015/dyer.html#.VXs7kBNVhBd), where I will also be hanging out with my dear friend Christine Awad, artist and art school friend from way back in 1970. She'll be assisting me in the class.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
I’m hoping my climbing pink roses are still in bloom; they were budding furiously when I left home and promised to be spectacular after my spring pruning. I planted tender baby heirloom tomato plants, grown from seeds Anna gave me for Mother’s Day; I wonder if they’ve survived my neglect. My cat, Molly, might give me the silent treatment for a while. I have a stack of bills waiting to be attended to. And my 11 year old grandson, Victor, comes to stay with me next week while he’s in science camp in Atlanta. It’s time to go home.
I also want to catch up on the news in the USA. I have an artist friend, Robin Hix, who lost everything in the Texas floods this week: her home and art studio. A lifetime of work gone. If anybody cares to contribute something to help her begin again, however small a contribution, it would be a significant help to Robin. There's a link on her web site to contribute. Please do: http://www.robinreneehix.com/
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Yesterday morning Roza left to visit her sister in Poland before heading home to the US. The rest of us walked to the oltrarno, the other side of the Arno River, where the medieval streets are a maze of artisans' workshops. Here we discovered a quieter Florence, away from the throngs of tourists and gelato shops. We fantasized about our own little studios (mine would have to be un an upper floor-- I would need a garden of some sort) overlooking the narrow streets, meeting artist friends in the evenings for wine.
We spent time in Luigi's workshop. Luigi is the restorer I had the opportunity to visit with Debra and Ivano when I first arrived in Florence 2 weeks ago (was it only 2 weeks ago??? It seems like a lifetime). He repairs centuries old sculpture, frames and furniture. He showed us photos of some of the work he has done through the years and demonstrated his carving and gold leafing process for us (all in Italian with our guide translating). Luigi's restorations are in museums throughout Italy. His craft is a dying one; younger people are not interested or can't afford to support themselves by it.
(Ditta Carlo Cecchi di Giuliano Ricchi, Piazza Santo Spirito, 12, 50125 Firenze)
(L'Ippogrifo, Via Santo Spirito 5/rm 50125 Firenze, wwwlstampeippogrifo.com)
Then on to Ali Firenze, a leathercraft and bead embroidery workshop, to observe the artist (sorry, didn't catch her name) in her studio, surrounded by heaps of dyed leather, semi-finished ladies' bags, belts and beaded jewelry. She explained (all in Italian with our guide translating) how purses are constructed using cardboard templates.
(Ali Firenze, Via Toscanella 9/r, 50125 Firenze, www.alifirenze.it)
On our last stop of the day Laura Thompson and Frank Rekrut, painter and sculptor, opened their studio to us. Laura and Frank are a husband and wife team from Canada and the US, who have lived here for 5 years. From the open windowed studio overlooking terra cotta tiled roofs, we sipped prosecco and probed their minds about the feasibility of living as an artist in Florence: cost of living? Taxes? Relations with the locals? The ability to make a living? Hmmm...all very doable.
Check out this web site for more artisans who welcome visitors: www.walkaboutflorence.com/articles/florences-artisan-quarter
Tuesday afternoon--I'm listening to the rain beating on the roof and the sirens out in the street, a common sound here in this busy city. I'm sitting in my room in the empty villa. Debra and Ivano have just delivered the last of the ladies to the airport. It is going to be a quiet dinner tonight.
Monday, May 25, 2015
Afterwards, while we were sipping our cappuccino at an outdoor cafe, we noticed Katie and Kim strolling by. We waved them down from across the street and then we all spent the rest of our long day leisurely stepping in and out of shops in the leather district, picking up souvenirs. Along our way we ran into Alexandra, our brilliant tour guide from earlier in the week, leading a herd of college students from San Diego. Later we passed Beata and her cousin and family, and still later Rosa passed us by. How funny to bump into so many people you know in Florence!
We ended our day crossing the Ponte Vecchio again to have dinner at the trattoria around the corner from our villa, where we were served a glass of Prosecco (Italian champagne) upon arrival. Another fun but bittersweet evening; it's one of our last. Lots of toasts to each other, to a wonderful 10 days, to camaraderie, to art, to Debra and Ivano, to Italy, to art, to meeting again next year, to art, to Italy, to art...
Saturday morning a private bus took us to Siena, about an hour southwest, to meet our tour guide, Stella. We also met up with an artist friend of mine, Lisa, who used to live in Atlanta but now in Scottsdale, AZ, and who just happened to be in Italy while we were there. Lisa joined us for the day as Stella led us in the rain through Siena--to the Piazza del Campo, where the Palio, their traditional medieval horse race takes place; through the fantastic 12th century Romanesque-Gothic Siena Cathedral, the Duomo, where we viewed ornate inlaid marble mosaic floors, sculptures and paintings by Donatello, Bernini and Michelangelo, illuminated choir books and frescoes.
We had lunch in a restaurant on the piazza, and Ivano and Rosa entertained us with a duet, "Oh Solo Mio."
Saturday, May 23, 2015
My class is over. Everyone worked hard and created beautiful work. Here we are: Beata, Cheryl, Jane, Jen, Katie, Kim, Michelle, Roza and me working through lunch.
And here's Harison, Debra's and Ivano's son, who made friends with the sculptors at the art studio, Debra, who worked tirelessly, and finally Ivano, who worked just as hard as the rest of us.
It's not all over yet. Tomorrow we play before everyone leaves for home; we catch a bus to Sienna.