I couldn't be happier living in the magical city of Florence, Italy. I'm overwhelmed with the beauty of the surrounding Tuscan landscape, yellow city, and incredible artwork. The Florence Academy has proven to be a rigorous academic school, which has only heightened my understanding of why it's considered one of the best art school's of the world. I'm surrounded by emensly talented artists, all of whom are driven and inspired by the classical techniques of the Realist masters. My teachers are demanding of hard work, but are truly dedicated to helping every single one of us reach our potential. I couldn't be more excited and inspired, obviously. I just can't stop singing my praises about the school and this amazing opportunity to be a student here!!
On a more casual level of conversation, my schedule is also completely taken up with school work. My daily schedule consists of morning Model drawing from 8:30-12pm, Barque drawing from 1-4pm, and evening lectures and classes from 5-7pm, 5 days a week. Human anatomy, art history, and additional hours drawing from a model alternate as my evening studies, sometimes with portrait club afterwards until 9:30!! Rather exhausting, to say the least!
The great news is that the weekends are an excellent time to catch up on exploring the city, or traveling to nearby cities. This past weekend my friends and I hopped on a train and travelled to a Perugia, a small town about 2 hours away in Umbria, an area on the outer parts on Tuscany. This weekend was their famous Chocolate Festival, which I felt I had an obligation to attend. It was tons of fun, but a bit overwhelming (coming from a chocolate enthusiast). After a cup of warm melted chocolate with pepper, a chocolate coated apple, some nibbles of my friend's chocolate kabob, and a dark chocolate horse shoe (life size) I was on the brink of illness. What a great weekend though! Now that it's Sunday, I'm back in the studio working on my Barque for a few hours. Back to the grinding board. :)
There were several pieces of art that I sold at the Keswick Horse Show that I didn't put up on the website. Largely due to the reason that they didnt fit into a particular category in my portfolios. Nevertheless, I might as well share them on my blog, because I loved doing them too!
Cardinal Couple: Acrylic and oil on wood blocks, with gold leaf. Commissioned.
My "Pig in Boots" was a very popular piece, so others with a similar theme were commissioned during the show. This one was specifically requested, the specifications being to add a calico cat with a pig wearing red boots. I didn't have a refrence image, so it turned out to look fairly illustrative. The customers were very happy with how it turned out. Great!
Whew, thrilled to have finished this in time and feel great about the final product. Moving on with my other portraits! Here is another portrait I completed this week.
This little guy is a Rat Terrier. His owners love him for his very special trick, where he'll leap over their leg when they hold it out. I've always been well versed in the personalities of Jack Russels, but this was the first time I've had a chance to play with a rat terrier. He was adorable, sweet, loyal, and calm. What a little cutie pie.
Currently busy working on three portraits this week. Trying to wrap up all commissions made before my last art show, and also underway with a new commission from Keswick.
Started working on this portrait of the lab and tick hound this afternoon, and made a TON of progress! It's been tricky to get the hound's face to look correct, since my reference image has the pup wearing a veil (awww, cute), but I had another picture sent to me of the hound with ears uncovered. Maybe I'll get this one finished this week as well! Coffee coffee coffee
It's been a fun week of art! I've finally taken the time to start some if my own paintings in addition to my commissioned work. I've found that it's made both tasks more entertaining. When I need a break from the stress of photorealism, I switch to my "for fun" painting, and then enjoy going back to the portrait where my established strengths lie. All in all, I'm getting used to this whole self-employed artist lifestyle.
I had a friend recently comment on a picture of mine saying how she viewed "works in progress as more interesting than some finished work." I think that's a good point, and I couldn't agree more. So I'm going to take that advice and post more images of my work in the making! This is not ground-breaking, I know... I think all artist's blogs are stuffed with images of their artistic process. And who wants to read a blog full of images of the finished cupcakes without images of the baking process too?!? #Noviceblogger
Working my way through commissioned portraits! Adorable dogs, I've had a blast painting them. Looking forward to getting started on my next few portraits this week.
I had my first art show this past week at The Keswick Horse Show in Charlottesville, Va, and It was an amazing experience!! I sold tons of work and made new friends and customers. Thank you to everyone who supported me through purchasing my artwork and by just coming out to see my tent! I hope to have more shows in the near future, and introduce my art into the Charleston art scene as well!