Italy has always inspired the world's artists and judging from my new sketchbook, it has certainly inspired me. Here's a smattering of pencil sketches I've recently worked on. People and faces I've tended to have avoided in the past as I'm too prone to perfection with portraits and I can't seem to embrace the inevitable asymmetrical nature of it all.
I am clearly not your constant gardener so first off, can someone please tell me what kind of flowers the pink ones I painted are? I painted from an untitled photograph so excuse my terrible floral ignorance. I have a thumb stained with paints, but none of those colors are green. A quick commentary on these- I've been working with oils and acrylics lately but the last two days I've been wanting to do watercolors. Problem is, I don't have any here in Italy and while I could have just hopped, skipped, and jumped over to the supermarket, I started experimenting with the "Giotto" brand water-based markers that are basically a commonplace in all Italian elementary schools. Essentially your standard Mr. Sketch markers minus the artificial fragrance. Turns out, if you add water (and fairy dust), they make a great substitute for watercolors! Here are two paintings done with them. The colors are a bit muted compared to in real life, but it's a bit grey here in Northern Italy today so I blame that.
(Unknown) Pink Flowers:
Since moving to Italy I've had very little time to get back to art. I say 'get back' because I used to be quite serious about it throughout junior high and especially high school where I took Advanced Placement fine arts and literally spent all my free blocks in the studio working on a portfolio that, while submitted to the AP College Board, never got submitted for any college admissions. I so admire my friends from art class who followed that dream to art schools around the world, including RISD; some studying in Florence. It's a terrible thing to put something as beautiful as art in your back pocket. That's perhaps also why it's taken me so long to brush the dust off my brushes. I had to throw some of my paints out as they had dried up in their tubes, brought all the way across the ocean from Canada. I've felt bad for abandoning art because in the end, it's one of those things that is part of a person. Dance runs through the veins of my little brother. Oils run through mine. And reflecting on this, I could rather deduce that I am drawn to Italy for the reasons so many artists past and present have been drawn to her- here, you are constantly touched by Michelangelo's golden light, colors that exist only in Italy. Here I am surrounded by beauty, on a Sunday afternoon I can admire the work of the masters or even just take a walk in the places that inspired them.
For more artwork (I haven't posted much, but there are some old pieces), click on "Artwork etc." under the Categories section on the sidebar.
Attila is Massi's childhood cat that behaved always more like a dog than a true cat. He would often see our car coming back late at night from the club and come to greet us, then he would wait for us to go into the house and up the stairs.
Atilla è il gatto di Massi da quando era giovane e si comportava sempre più come un cane che un gatto. Spesso, veniva a salutarci quando stavamo tornando dalla discoteca, poi ci aspettava per entrare in casa e salire.
This is a copy of an original painting that I did which used more muted and realistic colors. When I did this version, I was in a more colorful mood. I used to want to have a seaside cottage on the East coast and I always imagined a piece like this for it's walls. And I would walk along the beach and collect pocketfuls of sea glass to be later displayed in tall vases on the fireplace mantle, next to this painting.
Interpret however you like, my aim while working on this piece which was part of my Advanced Placement Art portfolio was for it to serve as an expression of female sexual repression in the modern world. This is certainly no freestone peach.
I hoped this blog would be a place to share all my passions. While cooking, writing, fashion, and all things Italy are most definitely included, I wanted to start posting my paintings. When I was little, I dreamed of being a surgeon/painter/writer/ballerina. Funny where life's choices take you, and unfortunately where societal expectations force you to go. While I love the sciences, it is my runner-up love. I first fell in love with the fine arts as a competitive dancer and then with the visual arts and then the written word. Sorry science, you were actually the fourth in line. If everything had been up to me, I would have been a painter-slash-writer. I love to create, I think it is an innate need that exists in all of us. It amazes me that a blank canvas, with purposefully placed strokes of color, can become something wonderful.
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Jasmine is a former pharmacist turned writer and wine drinker from Alberta, Canada living "the sweet life" in Bergamo, Italy.
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