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Borsheim Art Newsletter:

by Kelly Borsheim copyright 30 January 2008

  1. Seven Year Anniversary & Giambologna
  2. Events
  3. Back In Florence, Italy & New Artworks
  4. Recent Blog Topics
  5. Subscription Info.

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[sight size drawing of archer ecorche]

Archer Écorché
training the eye by drawing
using the sight-size method
by Kelly Borsheim

Dear Art Lover,
January marks my seventh anniversary of "taking the plunge" to full-time artist. I know it is a wee bit late, but I wanted to give you a calendar to give you the year at a glance. The 2008 calendar features an image I took of Giambologna's famous marble sculpture 'Ratto delle Sabine' on permanent exhibit in the Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence, Italy.

Giambologna is the Italianized name of the artist who was born in what is now France as Jean Bologne in 1529. He moved to Italy when he had twenty years. His first major commission was the Fountain of Neptune in Bologna. After that, he moved to Florence, Italy, where he lived out his life and which city still has many of his most important works. He is known for movement in his works, as well as a refined surface quality.

I have always been fascinated by the truly 3-dimensional composition of Giambologna's "Abduction of the Sabine (Woman)." The title is often translated to "The Rape of the Sabines," however, the Italian word 'rapire' means 'to steal' or 'to kidnap' [Interestingly enough, the figurative use means 'to enrapture, delight' according to my dictionary. Yin/yang. No wonder language is only the beginning of human communications!]

During my first visit to the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence in 2004, I learned that Giambologna was attempting to come up with a design that would have good views from all angles. And thus, his spiraling three-figure composition came to life. It appears to have taken him eight or nine years to create the work. You may also be interested to learn that the title of the sculpture, as well as the bronze bas relief sculptures on the base came AFTER the sculpture was put up for exhibit in its permanent home in the Loggia dei Lanzi. (Loggia is the Italian word for 'porch.')

Please click on the link and print this PDF file at your convenience and share with friends:


Back in the States, The Franklin Barry Gallery in Indianapolis is celebrating its 30th birthday! The party starts this week, so drop by for a piece of birthday cake during the IDADA First Friday Art Tour this Friday, February 1st. 6-9 pm.

You may also see many of my drawings of Italian models, as well as stone and bronze sculptures and paintings. Say hello to Don Elliott for me!

The Franklin Barry Gallery
617 Massachusetts Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204
Tel. 317.822.8455
Contact: Don Elliott
Web site: http://www.franklinbarrygallery.com

Back in Florence, Italy, and New Artworks

I am back working in Florence, Italy, and will not return to Texas until early July. In the meantime, I would like to show you some of the many drawings I have been creating in the city that birthed the Renaissance.
[figurative portrait drawing]
"Portrait of Harry" pencil portrait
[charcoal drawing figurative contemporary art]
"A World Away" charcoal drawing
[cast drawing charcoal]
"The Ear" charcoal drawing of a plaster cast

"A World Away" is a charcoal drawing, sized 66 x 46 cm (26 x 18 inches). The model's name is Sara and she is a fun Italian girl from Tuscana. She likes jazz and we went to a concert together inside of a church in the Santo Spirito neighborhood in November. I still have a wee bit of work to do in the background of the drawing, but she is pretty much done and ready to find a home. I am really drawn to the touchable-ness of black, greys, and white.

"The Ear" is a rather unromantic title for a charcoal study of a plaster cast of, well, you guessed it, a sculpted ear. While I am most drawn to working with the live figure, this cast rendering was an exercise to help me develop my eye for precision of shapes and tones, but also to learn how to depict form in a very believable way. I have always loved the softness of charcoal drawings, but working now in a serious way with this material has given me an even greater appreciation of this medium. "The Ear" measures 30 x 20 cm (12 x 8 inches).

Thank goodness for friends who are willing to sit still. This next sketch is a portrait of my friend Harry. I have always felt weak in my depiction of individual faces and so twice a week in the evenings, I am trying to improve my portrait skills. This one of Harry measures 16 x 10 cm (approximately 6 x 4 inches) and was drawn on a light yellow-crème paper.

"Francesco" and "Valentina" are two more drawings that I have done recently. Però I smudged the pencil drawing of Valentina with my coat as I took the drawing from the studio to my home. So, I have some repairs to do to improve this work. I will also lower the contrast in her ribs and work on turning the shape of the head so that she looks more 3-dimensional.

And tonight, I created another pencil drawing of a Florentine model Ranieri. This disegno is 18 x 20 cm (7 x 8 inches). I love triangles and this pose was full of them! I wish that I had had more time to fully render this drawing, but I am happy with what I did in the time that I had.

All of these works are available, just let me know which ones you are interested in.

[figurative portrait drawing]
"Ranieri" pencil figure sketch
[figurative contemporary art]
pencil drawing "Francesco"
[figure drawing pencil]
"Valentina" pencil drawing 23 Gennaio 2008

Blog About Tuscany, Italy

My thanks and gratitude for those who read my blog and even post comments on it. I was not sure if anyone would be interested in this little project, so it is good to receive feedback.
Recent blog topics include:


I have received a request to discuss more about the sight-size method of drawing and also to create larger text fonts in the subscription copy of my blog. The former will be easier than the latter. I have been trying to find the time to learn more about how the blog feed system works. For example, I am not happy about the fact that when someone subscribes to the blog, there is an e-mail sent out that does not list my blog's name or anything. This happens on the confirm subscription e-mail, as well as the news items. I will figure this out, I just do not know when. But thank you for the encouragement - and patience!

For now, I want to wish you a lovely Valentine's Day next month. Thank you for reading and by all means, forward this newsletter on to anyone you think would enjoy it.

Kelly Borsheim
30 Gennaio 2008

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