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Kelly Borsheim's Art of the Human Form - Charcoal Figure Drawing

Il Dono ("The Gift")

65 x 46 cm (25.5 x 18+ inches)
charcoal with pastel / carboncino con pastelli
brown Roma-brand paper
© 2009
Kelly Borsheim


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This drawing was part of the exhibit
Luce dall'oscurità (Light from Darkness)
in Florence, Italy 2009

[art drawing of male figure offering a gift]
[detail of male figure drawing]

Detail of Art

Il Dono ("The Gift") - Charcoal and Pastel Figure Drawing

This charcoal and pastel drawing depicts a male figure amidst a smoky background making an offer to you with his hands. In the Italian language there are (at least) two words for the English word "gift." The original title for this artwork was "Il Regalo." Regalo is the word most often used when describing giving a birthday present or other gift. But shortly after the art was completed, I was visiting the studio of an Italian artist named Samuele Vanni and saw a newspaper clipping with the words "Il Dono" in the headline. Samuele explained that dono was a special type of gift, given from the heart and typically without a specific occasion, but (as in the case of this example) it is a gift that makes a big difference in the life of another. It is a gift born of love. This difference was key to the idea of this artwork and thus, the title was changed.

I first met Vida, the model for this drawing, in Florence, Italy, during an art reception in the stables of a wealthy family in the Renaissance City. As it turned out, he was a friend of a friend and we were introduced and had a wonderful time getting to know one another. I liked his boyish energy and since I discovered he was already an artist's model, I asked if he would work with me.

Vida is from Brazil and practices traditional capoeira, a type of dance (usually with another) that looks like a combination of dance, tai chi, and sometimes martial arts, or hunting. He says that the more modern version includes acrobatics as a crowd thriller. So when he arrived at my home in Florence, we went into the garden and I asked him to do some movements of the capoeira to give me some ideas. As he did this graceful movement raising himself up by straightening his legs as his arms came together to cup his hands before reaching out towards me, I asked him to freeze that pose. And the work you see here began . . .

"Il Dono" was the poster art for my first solo exhibition in Florence, Italy, in April 2009. The exhibit was titled Kelly Borsheim: Luce dall'oscurità and you may see it online by clicking on the name. Thank you for your interest!

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Most recent revision: 2 January 2010