Friday, February 27, 2009

Killing time, exploring, and taking pics...

I wanted to post some more pictures while I have a wonderful internet connection at the School's Library.  Enjoy.

LOVE the horses.

This guy was my favorite.

Pastel drawing of the nude I did in class.  


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Friends of the Uffizi....

Well, I want to start off by saying that homesickness sucks.  I've experienced alot of it this past week.  Not good.  I was surprised that it decided to hit me so hard and so soon.  I'm on week number 5 here.  But, after some self-pity, whining about wanting to go home, and having Keith being a wonderful supporter to talk me down, I sucked it up and go over it.  So I think I'm good for now. I helps to understand homesickness to help get over it.  So google was my friend in understanding homesickness and "cures" for it.  
Anyways, classes are going well.  Painting continues to be my favorite.  The past week I had to do a pastel drawing of a nude model (I took a picture of it for your viewing pleasure) and then I had to do a 'bezztio" (this may be spelled wrong-its an italian word) which is a small pre-painting of what you're bigger, more detailed one will look like, and it was done in acrylic.  So, next Monday I'll start the oil painting.  We have the nudes scheduled to come to all of our painting classes until midterm.  I simply love painting, drawing from nudes.  I thought I would hate it, that it would be too hard for me, and that I wouldn't rise to the challenge.  But its great.  I'm learning so much.  And Marsha is open to experimenting with our painting techniques and is very patient. I know I would never get this at GC, and it was one of the reasons I decided I wanted to study here.  I'll never forget the things I'm learning in that class.  And I think once I get back home, I'll probably go to the nude drawing/painting sessions that UK offers on the weekends.  Its opened many doors. 
I finished my ring in jewelry making.  Ada has requested that I post a picture of it.  I'll get right on that.  :)
Today, I finally got my lazy butt over to the Uffizi.  I bought the 'Friends of the Uffizi' card.  Its a museum card that, for 40 euros (if you are under 26  years old), you can get into any state museum for free and without having to wait in lines.  So, I can go to the Uffizi any time I want and skip the line.  Which is awesome b/c I had to wait for an hour in line today  just to buy the card.  The Uffizi is huge.  I didn't take my time today, I just wanted to get an overview of the entire place.  Its huge.  I'm going to back this weekend I think and do some sketching.  I got to see Botticelli's "Birth of Venus" and "Primavera".  They were impressive, huge.  I personally like "Primavera" over the "Birth of Venus".  But the one painting that I seen today, that I totally forgetten was in the Uffizi and it was amazing, was Artemisa Gentileschi's "Judith Slaying Holofernes".  Awesome.  I loved it.  I also liked the Caravaggio pieces they had.  There was a lot to see and I'm sure I didnt see it all.  Thats why I'll go back.  :) The more often the better.
I took some pictures while I was out and about today.  Mostly of the Palazzo Vecchio, where the original David used to be, and they are working on the replica right now.  :(  (But I seen the real thing by the way, last week at the Accademia, David is my new BFF.)
Anyways, I'm going to Paris next week.  I'm so excited about it too.  My friend, Nicole, from painting class, is going with me.  We leave Thursday and get back late Sunday night.  We plan to spend all day Friday in the Louvre, and we are going to the ballet too.  :)  I can't wait.  
Spring break isn't far away....Thank goodness.  Keith will be here, about damn time too.  :) I miss that boy so much.  I have so much to show him, and the food....he will love the food. I'll try to post some pictures later, when I have a better internet connection.  Until then...


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Carnival in Florence...

Cool costumes.
This guy was alot of fun.

Gemini is cuter.

This past Sunday there was a Carnival Parade in the streets of Florence, along the Arno River.  It was fun.  There were lots of people out and about.  Kids were dressed up in costumes, lots of batmans, and winnie the poohs.  :)  It also gave me a very good point of view of how many foreigners (non-Italians) live in Florence.  People from everywhere were represented in the parade.  The Colombians brought it the best though.  Amazing costumes and fun dancing.  It lasted for about an hour, and it was a wonderful day for the parade too.  Towards the end, it started cooling off a bit and I was forced to put my gloves back on.  But it was fun nonetheless.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Just a little Salt and Pepper...

So, this weekend I went on an adventure.  I went hiking, wine and olive oil tasting in Chianti.  The day started really early, we had to meet the tour group at 7:30 at the train station, where we took an hour bus ride to Chianti.  I finally got to see the Italian countryside.  I never realized how much of a country girl I am until I hadn't been around 'real trees' for a while.  The Italian countryside is beautiful.  It doesn't scream beautiful at you, its a quite beautiful that you appreciate and take in.  The hike about about 2.5 hours long.  And boy was it a work out.  Worth it though.  I got some nice shots out of it and memories of a lifetime.  At the end of the hike we went to the Sassolini Family Villa where we had lunch and wine and oil tasting.  The home is beautiful.  The food was amazing.  We had olive oil and bread.  An amazing red wine, and we learned how to really taste the wine.  Then we had pesto pasta, red sauce pasta, salami, and then dessert wines. The dessert wines are strong stuff.  The red wine was my favorite.  I bought a bottle of it for six euros.  I plan on drinking it with Keith when he gets here.  The Sassolini family was so generous to open their home to us and serve us lunch.  Heres some pictures.
The view from the Sassolini back yard.  Some view huh?

Grappa, a dessert wine.  This stuff will put hair on your chest.  Smells like rubbing alcohol.

Dessert wine with a biscotti.  You let the bread soak up the wine and eat it.  Then sip the rest.

Delicious Red Sassolini Wine.

Isnt this house cute?  I want to live in it.

The Italian countryside.

For you Keith.


This machine is what they used to use to squeeze the oil out of olive oil leaves...until they made a machine that can do it for them now.

All in all, I had a very good time.  Definitely well worth the 40 euros.  
Update on classes: All is well.  Had my first Italian quiz, I think I did ok. Nothing much to report.  
I booked a flight for Paris.  A friend of mine in my painting class and I are going in March.  I'm very excited.  We're going to spend an entire day in the Louvre.  And then go to the ballet at night.  We are very excited.  And I think this might be my only 'out of Italy' trip so I'm going to make it worthwhile. And we're going in two weeks!  I'm going to Paris in TWO WEEKS!  I'm so excited.  
Later, today I'll post some pictures of the carnival here in Florence.  Until then...


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Pictures Finally

A reward for the past few blogs not having in pictures.  Sometimes my internet connection really sucks.  Today - not so much.  Enjoy.

Street Artists working in chalk and pastels.  

Street performers...they were kinda creepy but way awesome!

I eat this stuff like crazy!
The rows of dried fruits!
Yes! Tomatoes are my favorite!
Lots of EVOO....
Amazing fruits....

Fresh Ribs.
Fresh Chicken
Fresh Pasta from the market.
Heck Yeah! Gelato!
The Ponte Vecchio at night.
Me at the Duomo, spotting a quatrefoil, and in my new coat from H&M.