[Borsheim Arts Studio]

Return to
Newsletter Table of Contents

Borsheim Art Newsletter:

by Kelly Borsheim copyright 8 October 2014

  1. New Works: "Tuscan Table" and "Turkish Light"
  2. Exhibit in Bristol: Royal West
  3. Art Symposium, Russalka, Bulgaria
  4. Blog Highlights
  5. Subscription Info.

Sign-up to receive
e-news or printed mail.

(Your personal information is
never sold or given away.)

[Mermaid Stone Sculpture Bulgaria Borsheim]

"La Sirena" carved from stone pulled from the beach
Russalka, Bulgaria, Art Symposium
by Kelly Borsheim July 2014

[Tuscan Table Maremma Tuscany Italy still life painting]
"Tuscan Table"
72 x 54 cm (28 x 21 inches)
oil on prepared paper
copyright 2014 Kelly Borsheim

Dear Art Lover,

Hello again. How are you? I hope that you relaxed a bit these past few months and did something to enhance your quality of life. Are you surprised to hear from me finally? I moved my Web site in June to a new host and since then have had multiple difficulties in the e-mail and newsletter departments. I am hoping that you receive this.

Allora, I would like to show you two new still life paintings. The first one "Tuscan Table" was inspired by a trip with a friend to the Maremma area in south Tuscany, Italia. There is something mentally yummy about old wooden tables and stone walls. I think of this painting as "comfort art" and I hope you enjoy it as I enjoy my memories in the creating of it.

This newsletter is about the art festival in Russalka, Bulgaria, a resort along the Black Sea and not far from the town of Kavarna. My friend and colleague Kumiko Suzuki and I travelled there in July. Afterwards we moved on to Istanbul and spent several days vacationing in that humongous city.

This second still life, "Turkish Light," features a small multi-colored glass candle holder that I bought in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. I added a few other things as well, so I hope that you enjoy the colors and composition. Note that I worked with several long-drying colors, juicy red and black, but also cadmium orange. This painting took me a couple of months because I needed time to allow the layers of paint to dry. No, not a spectator sport!

Both paintings are available, unframed, and if you respond to this newsletter, I will offer free shipping from Italy to wherever you wish the artwork to go. "Tuscan Table" is an oil painting on prepared thick paper and measurer in around 72 x 54 cm (28 x 21 inches). Price is $1800 US. "Turkish Light" is 50 x 35 cm (19.6 x 13.7 inches), oil on primed wood panel and she will sell for $2000 US. As usual, all of my works may be had using my no-finance charge payment plan. You set the amount you wish to pay each month and the date. If you would like more information about this, please ask me or see the pricelist page on my Web site.

Thank you.

[Turkish Light, candle light, still life, painting, Turkey, Morocco, red, orange, black]
"Turkish Light"
50 x 35 cm (19.6 x 13.7 inches)
oil on wood panel
copyright 2014 Kelly Borsheim

[Tools of Giuseppe Florence Tuscany Italy still life painting]
"Giuseppe's Tools" (Italy); 56 x 50 cm;
oil on gesso-vero canvas; copyright 2013 Kelly Borsheim

Royal West of England Academy's Open Exhibition 2014

Before we get to Bulgaria, how about we go to Bristol? . . . UK, that is.

I am so happy to announce that my oil painting "Giuseppe's Tools" has been accepted by jury into the Royal West of England Academy's "162 Annual Open Exhibition 2014" in Bristol, UK. Exhibit runs from 12 October through 7 December 2014. My artwork is for sale! For more details about the event, please visit:

Art Festival Bulgaria 2014

It is true that one thing leads to another. In the spring of 2013, I was lucky enough to meet a sculptor at an exhibition for another sculptor because of an invitation by a third stone carver. I met the latter at an Italian dinner one night. Whew. Three new people and I found myself invited to carve stone in Castelvecchio, Italy. You may see the results here:

During that symposium in 2013, my friend Kumiko and I met more artists and thus, we found ourselves receiving an invitation to travel to a resort on the Black Sea. It is called Russalka and it is in Bulgaria, not far from Kavarna.

I have mixed feelings about my experiences at Russalka, but in the end, I was happy with the sculpture that I carved from a stone found on the beach near the worksite and in only about eight days.

This was a festival for a lot of forms of art. Our event was limited to painters and sculptors. But there was a series of events for school children of all ages. And each night, the outdoor theatre presented some form of art for us all, from dancing to singing, gymnastics, games, and spettacoli.

The upsides were that the area is beautiful and we worked not far from sightings of dolphins and other sea critters. After the first few cooler days, the sea was warm enough to swim in … and that was glorious! I took a dip at least twice a day when I needed a sculpting break.

We ate well, three meals a day. The restaurant that served everyone was close to our sculpting site in a little protected area along the beach. Kumiko and I shared a room, as most guest artists did, and they all seemed clean and comfortable enough. The night was gorgeously full of stars with the moon getting fuller each night.

The main downside was that we had been told that our stones would be about a meter long. I looked forward to working large again because I wanted to use this symposium to help me get more experience to join the more professional symposia around the world. Also, we packed tools based on the limited information we received about the stone. I was dismayed and ill-prepared to carve a small stone. However, each time I pointed to a lovely rock, I was told, "Kelly … too big!"

That said, I thought about just making a vacation of this, as the other artists suggested on more than one occasion. Another person would have carved a much simpler design and spent more time enjoying the social life and the beaches. But this was "me time," the chance to sculpt! I was happy to try something that I was not equipped to do, learn something, and still, I got to swim. Each evening, Kumiko and I hit the terme, enjoying the soft, but stinky sulfur water before washing up for dinner. I got to Zumba or dance most nights at the theatre, with moon-watching after that. It was a good balance, I thought, even if I missed a lot of the action the others enjoyed.

The other negatives you will just have to ask me about in person. I do not think I have enough background information to post anything on the Internet.

[Russalka Resort on Black Sea, Bulgaria]
Russalka, Bulgaria, on the Black Sea

[Stone hunting Russalka Resort on Black Sea, Bulgaria]
This is where I found the stone that I was allowed to choose.

[Russalka Resort on Black Sea, Bulgaria]
Russalka, Bulgaria, on the Black Sea

[Serpents in the Black Sea, Bulgaria]

There were small serpents in the shallow waters near our sculpting site. No worries, though: They are more afraid of large strange-looking creatures with limbs than we were of them.

[Found Stone for Carving, Black Sea, Bulgaria]
What do you see in this stone full of holes and some red clay?

[Stone Carving on the Black Sea in Bulgaria]
What to do with this stone? I studied her from all angles, although
I wanted a vertical composition for better visibility from a distance.

[Stone Carving on the Black Sea in Bulgaria]
July 1: I must decide on an idea quickly if I am to accomplish anything in just over a week.

[Stone Carving on the Black Sea in Bulgaria]
July 1: Starting to work. Stone carving in Bulgaria. Photo by Kumiko Suzuki

[Stone Carving on the Black Sea in Bulgaria]
July 3: Working under a bamboo umbrella, alternating machine and hand tool work.

[Sculpture Work in progress Stone for Carving, Black Sea, Bulgaria]
July 3: My 4-inch grinder and masonry blade limited what I could reach on this small stone carving!

[Russalka Resort on Black Sea, Bulgaria]
Some of the nightly entertainment at Russalka resort, Bulgaria

[Russalka resort on the Black Sea, Bulgaria]
July 3: This is the little peninsula cliff rising above our carving site.

[Sculpture Work in progress Stone for Carving, Black Sea, Bulgaria]
July 4: Symposiums teach one to be flexible. I miss my normal hammer, but made do.

[Carving a hole into stone on the Black Sea in Bulgaria]
July 4: Host sculptor Ivan Paraskov loaned me his drill. Most of my tools are still in Texas, so I was grateful for Ivan's generosity. Many sculptors are not keen on loaning tools, myself included. However, that depends on which tool, I suppose, and sometimes which stone.

[Stone Carving on the Black Sea in Bulgaria]
July 4: I often stand back to examine the variety of profile lines (edges) that I am creating, walking around the piece or turning it to serve me.

[Painting during art symposium Black Sea in Bulgaria]

July 5: The painters kept telling Kumiko and me to stop working and have some fun a little. Pfff! How is the carving to be finished in time? We have more difficulties than painters do. However, I took the fifth day off. I had been working too many hours in the sun. There had been no water at the resort for the first several days, after a large storm caused a pipe in the region to burst. During this time the sea was too cold and I am a huge baby when it comes to swimming in cold water.

In addition, in mid-June, I had returned to Florence, Italy, after a month of teaching in Australia. My two weeks in Firenze while I tried to move and deal with inconsiderate friends had been very stressful. I was hungry for a break from people so I could unwind and let go of my anger and shock. I had earlier asked the symposium organizers (The Panev family) if I could have a canvas and some paints. So, on my day off from sculpting, I took my charcoal and their blank canvas and headed to the far end of the resort. Finding a deserted beach with large boulders, I sat down in the shade and enjoyed a very peaceful morning ALONE. The sounds of gently crashing waves is indeed therapeutic!

[Drawing on the Black Sea in Bulgaria]

[Social evenings at the art symposium Black Sea in Bulgaria]
July 5: Evenings were fun and spent getting to know the other artists. Several were from Croatia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Italia, Bulgaria, one from Russia, another from Paris, another from India, and more places. I often did Zumba with the kids in the theatre after dinner. Then later, after that night's entertainment, the artists hung out at another beach. I never tire of looking at the moon. It became more full with each passing evening, but was fully round during the night that Kumiko and I crossed the border into Turkey after the symposium. It is amazing to me how bright several of the "stars" were, despite their close proximity to the moon.

[Drawing on the Black Sea in Bulgaria]

[Stone Carving artist Kelly Borsheim in Bulgaria]

[Stone carving Kelly Borsheim artist art symposium Black Sea in Bulgaria]
July 6: Huben Stefanov took these shots of me once I was back to work on my stone girl. The red plastic band around my wrist (which I joked was a sign of being imprisoned) actually allowed us to receive our meals for free, as part of the payment for our creating art for Russalka.

[Installation art by Huben Stefanov in Bulgaria]
July 6: Huben Stefanov, a businessman and poet from Sofia, wanted to participate a bit more in the symposium and began making installations around our stone carving studio area on the beach. I snapped this shot of him transporting his latest Nature find, pushing the hollow tree trunk over the Black Sea.

[Installation art by Huben Stefanov in Bulgaria]
July 6: I rather enjoyed this little addition near my carving site. Thanks, Huben Stefanov!

[swallows in Bulgaria]
I loved the swallows that were everywhere around Russalka!

[swallows in Bulgaria]

[swallows in Bulgaria]

[swallows and dancing performance in Bulgaria]
Above: One of the dancers in a competition at the Russalka International Arts Festival.
Below: Ivan tries to help an injured swallow while his sweet wife looks on. Sadly, during our last early morning at Russalka, Kumiko and I heard a thud outside of our room as we packed to go. The swallow's nest just above the door of our balcony had fallen and two babies were instantly killed. I was heartbroken.

[swallows in Bulgaria]

[swallows and dancing performance in Bulgaria]
Left: Ivan took to carving stone that could not be moved: a permanent artwork for the land!
Above: Giuseppe Strano Spitu had carved the nearby heart in a previous year.

[artist portraits at symposium in Bulgaria]
Just as he had done in Castelvecchio the year before, Ivan drew portraits of some of the artists working near him. Only this time on the wall in the cavernous space behind and beneath the theatre; and with a little girlie image just to make this look like a mechanic's shop! It is pretty amazing how well he captures characters in these line drawings and each person is recognizable.

[swallows and dancing performance in Bulgaria]
Here is a good shot of our sculpture studio. The theatre starts at the top left of this image. The restaurant where we ate all of our meals is in the top background. Kumiko washes off one of her stone eggs to see the color better.

[artist painting at symposium in Bulgaria]

[makeshift painting studio in Bulgaria]
I was given five different colors of acrylic paints (one being white), donated by the painters of the symposium. And I setup a makeshift studio not far from my sculpting site, but definitely out of the sun. I did not have any paintbrushes, so I used my fingers, as well as a bamboo sticks, and a variety of grasses, stones, and shells found nearby. I think this image had potential had I put more energy and time into it and used better materials. As it was, I left the undone painting in the storage room of the theatre. I wonder if they ever discovered it.

My Finished Stone Carving Sculpture "La Sirena"

[stone carving sculpture Sirena Mermaid at symposium in Bulgaria]
July 9: Dry stone sculpture "La Sirena"

[stone carving sculpture Sirena Mermaid at symposium in Bulgaria]
July 9: The colors are more apparent when wet.

[stone carving sculpture Sirena Mermaid at symposium in Bulgaria]
"La Sirena" (The Mermaid)

[stone carving sculpture Sirena Mermaid at symposium in Bulgaria]
"La Sirena" (The Mermaid)

[stone carving sculpture Sirena Mermaid at symposium in Bulgaria]
"La Sirena" (The Mermaid)

[stone carving sculpture Sirena Mermaid at symposium in Bulgaria]
More of Huben's nature installations

[stone carving sculpture by Kumiko Suzuki at symposium in Bulgaria]
One of Kumiko's stone carvings: Emerging Fish

[stone carving sculpture Sirena Mermaid at symposium in Bulgaria]

[stone carving sculpture by Kelly Borsheim at symposium in Bulgaria]
Photo of sculptor Kelly Borsheim taken by Carmen, Russalka, Bulgaria on the Black Sea

[stone carving sculpture by Kumiko Suzuki at symposium in Bulgaria]
Above, new friend: Peter makes reproductions of ancient coins. Sweet man who enjoys wearing costumes... how cool is that?
Right: Our sculptures were moved to a site closer to the exhibition area for the painters. You may see many of the other works created during this symposium on my Facebook page.

[stone carving sculpture Sirena Mermaid at symposium in Bulgaria]

Artists and Art Reception, Russalka Bulgaria 2014

[art reception symposium in Bulgaria]
July 9: Our "Motley Crew": Sadly, I did not meet all of the painters involved, many of whom showed up days after Kumiko and I had.

[presenting the sculptors of stone at symposium in Bulgaria]
July 9: Sanja Pribic, painter and illustrator from Zagreb, Croatia, translated the presentation of the sculptors of stone for our hostess Maria. L-R: Giuseppe, Kumiko, Pavel, Kelly, Marino, Maria, Ivan, and Sanja.

[art reception symposium in Bulgaria]
July 9: Yay! Kumiko and I pose with our art!

[presenting the sculptors of stone at symposium in Bulgaria]
July 9: Kumiko with her art. I really enjoy my time with Kumiko. She is a lot of fun and a very good person.

[art reception symposium in Bulgaria]
July 9: Each artist was presented with a participation certicate, and a flower from a young dancer at the festival. After the ceremonies followed a large dinner in another restaurant at the resort, as well as dancing and revelry.
We were told to spend the next day relaxing, hiking, enjoying the sun and surf as desired, but no creating (at least for Russalka). I loved swimming in the sea! We left the morning of 11 July, after they took all of us artists to Varna. That night, Kumiko and I were on a bus to Istanbul!

[presenting the sculptors of stone at symposium in Bulgaria]
July 9: Maria with her son and his wife: Hosts of this event and owners of Russalka Resort.

[Due Sirena photo by Giuseppe Strano Spitu artist asleep and her carved stone sculpture at symposium in Bulgaria]
July 9: Artist Giuseppe Strano Spitu took this photo of me sleeping near my stone sculpture. He said that his wife Carmen instantly titled the shot as "Le Due Sirene" (The Two Mermaids). I include it here because I think it is funny, as well as realistic. I think that my nap-taking is getting too well documented. I may have to make an exhibition of images people share with me of my sleeping self! hahaha.

Recent Blog Topics:

Although I really want to spend my time painting and sculpting, I have tried to pick up the writing again and here are a few posts from my blog. In the meantime, I am also looking for where my life takes me. This time I offer you Istanbul and Bergamo.

You may follow a variety of art topics on my blog, mostly travel and art:
(This is a different subscription list than the one for this art newsletter.)

Thank you for sharing this journey with me. Thank you for sharing this newsletter with your friends and colleagues. And certainly, thank you for supporting my work by adding some of it to your collection.

Kelly Borsheim
8 October 2014
[Happy birthday to my lovely nieces: Elyse and Erin!]

Sign-up to receive FREE e-news or printed mail.

Return to Read Other Newsletters - Table Of Contents Page

If you enjoy Borsheim Art News, please forward it to friends and colleagues. It comes to you about 6-8 times a year from Florence, Italy-based artist Kelly Borsheim.

[Istanbul during Ramadan]

[Art Fair Florence Italy]

Give a Book Review:

Thank you for your interest and support in the book I wrote this past summer about being a street artist in Italy. I was thrilled to receive such glowing feedback about how I had shared not only the art and the artists, but also something of the political environment regarding street art, interaction with the public and other street performers (my favorite chapter is the one in which I have invited children to join me on the pavement), as well as images of the Renaissance City herself.

The book is titled "My Life as a Street Painter in Florence, Italy." If you have read the book and would like to help in the promotion of it, perhaps you would consider writing up a short review for Amazon.com (or even send me a testimonial for my own site). Your review does not have to be fancy. The intention is to help other people get a better idea about what is inside and whether or not they may enjoy the read.

Just click here. Scroll down to the section on Customer Reviews. Click on the button to the right that says, "Create your own review" Sign in and follow their guide.

If you have not gotten your copy of the book, you may order directly from my site:

or from Amazon.com:

I have about 20 copies here with me in Italy, so if you are also here, just write me and we will organize the rest…

Home | Sculpture | Paintings/ 2-D / Murals | Photography | Exhibits | Process | Galleries | BLOG
Newsletter | Biography | Prints | Price List | Contact Artist

Copyright © 2014 Kelly Borsheim
All Rights Reserved