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Borsheim Art Newsletter:

by Kelly Borsheim copyright 19 April 2016

  1. Orchids and Old Things ~ New Painting
  2. La Badia Fiorentina
  3. Kickstarter Follow-up and More
  4. Layaway Plan – Did you know of it?
  5. Angel Sculpture by Vasily Fedorouk
  6. Blog Highlights: Kristen
  7. Subscription Info.

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[Vespers Service Abbey Florence Italy]

Vespers Service at 'La Badia Fiorentina'
Florence, Italy

Dear Art Lover,

Hello again! Welcome to April, soon enough May. This past December I started to paint again even though I had not yet been able to move into my new home in Tuscany. I finished one still-life painting titled Orchids and Old Things just before I went to Firenze for one month and now I may present her to you here. Click on the images for more information on her individual page on this site, as well:
Orchids and Old Things

Orchids and Old Things:
[Still Life Painting Orchids and Old Things Rusty door lock oil can bone]

50 x 70 cm oil on canvas (about 19.7 x 27.5 inches)
by Kelly Borsheim

Orchids and Old Things [DETAIL]:
[Still Life Painting Orchids and Old Things Rusty door lock oil can bone]

Detail of still life painting of rusty door lock, antique oil can, an old bone, and orchids, 50 x 70 cm oil on canvas (about 19.7 x 27.5 inches)
by Kelly Borsheim

La Badia Fiorentina, Florence, Italy:

Word of mouth is a wonderful way to discover people, things, and places of interest. This is how I found La Badia Fiorentina or the Florentine Abbey in Florence, Italy. Although I was always curious about what the tower belonged to that lies across from the famous and beloved Bargello National Sculpture Museum, I never seemed to find the time to seek it out. In November 2014, a couple of new friends invited me to join them for the Vespers service. I recently went again with friends the Thursday before Easter.

La Badia Fiorentina is a peaceful place in the heart of a bustling city of tourists. It is located on Via del Proconsolo, not far from the House of Dante. The building was around earlier but in 978, about 100 years before the walls around the city were built, the Badia came into existence as a Benedictine space. Willa, Marchioness of Tuscany Marquise Matilda, founded it in memory of her late husband Hubert.

La Badia has functioned also as a hospital, and, as properties grew, became a place for the order to do bookbinding and book selling, as well as work with scrolls. For a while, at least, they even studied or perhaps cultivated grapes there. She has been reconstructed as use dictated, torn down in parts (due to not paying taxes) and restored, and is a mixture of Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque architectural styles.

The church bell functions even today. Vespers start each evening at 6 p.m. and La Badia Fiorentina is home to a group of monks and nuns called the Fraternita' di Gerusalemme. In the times that I have been, it is always a male who heads the mass, but many women who sing out in front of the altar, backs facing the audience. The voices are lovely and the incense pretty much OVER-flowing.

In fact, the incense is so intoxicating, I shall use that as my excuse for the daydreaming and "sightseeing" I did recently during the mass. Ready? From the girl who often sees shapes in clouds and such, follow my line of thought for a moment, please. Up on the wall across from the enormous organ pipes above my head is a painting by Giorgio Vasari in 1568 titled, Assumption into Heaven of the Virgin and Saints. I actually do not like this painting. I do like, however, the two flanking each side, the long vertical proportionate ones. But, I digress . . .

Anyway, one of my first thoughts was to notice how abnormally long the bodies are. I mean look at the saint in the bottom center! Long torso, small head… my eyes then drifted up to the Virgin Mary. Incense: Wherefore arte thou? I saw the leg in the foreground first. Only, I saw it as the bum (where the knee is). In part, this is because the fold of the pink drapery that runs up and back to her right knee is too light. My mind read that shape as a tail! That led me to continue the hallucination upwards, her low-hanging breasts with the really long chest just seemed bizarre. Well, it would since I was actually looking at her (semi-full, or as Harlequin romance novels of my youth would put it, "generous") tummy!

What jarred me back to reality was looking higher up. Naturally… hahha… so, yes, then I saw her hand upon her real breast as she looked at the little cherubs sticking their baby hands under her bottom. Hard working dudes, lifting her weird form up to heaven!

And so it goes, an artist on incense and shape/tone patrol in La Badia Fiorentina. Do not miss that lovely experience!

[Black and white image of Vespers at La Badia Fiorentina Italy]
Vespers singing ceremony
La Badia Fiorentina, Florence, Italy

[Painting Giorgio Vasari Italy]
Painting by Giorgio Vasari
La Badia Fiorentina, Florence, Italy

[Painting Giorgio Vasari Assumption into Heaven of the Virgin and Saints] [Painting Giorgio Vasari Assumption into Heaven of the Virgin and Saints]

[Mass after Vespers at La Badia Fiorentina - Florence Italy Abbey] [Vespers service at La Badia Fiorentina]

[La Badia Fiorentina Altar - Florence, Italy] [an Altar boy swings widely the heady incense dispenser during Mass at La Badia Fiorentina - Abbey in Florence, Italy]

The Carved Wooden Ceiling in the Badia Fiorentina, Italy:

[La Badia Fiorentina Altar - Florence, Italy hand carved wooden ceiling] [detail of carved wooden ceiling at La Badia Fiorentina - Abbey in Florence, Italy]

The Lunette above the Altar in La Badia Fiorentina, Italy:

[La Badia Fiorentina Lunette Arte above the Altar - Florence, Italy]

The above artwork is my favorite of all I have seen in the abbey. I could not find any information on the title or artist. Sadly, my image is not so good since my good camera fell the second time with me when I re-damaged my knee a month ago. That camera died in the accident. This is from a poor backup snapper I bought years ago from a friend for [photo] emergencies. I love the dynamic and diagonal bodies in this composition, as well as the blues.

Links of interest for La Badia Fiorentina and the Vespers include:

[Fresco partial La Badia Fiorentina Italy]
Fresco mostly lost, but luscious just the same
La Badia Fiorentina, Florence, Italy

[artist Susanna di Preta drawing from live model in her native Florence, Italy]
Artist Susanna di Preta drawing from a live model
in her native Florence, Italy

This newsletter is dedicated to my Florentine friend Susanna di Preta. We became instant friends upon our meeting in September 2006 despite our not knowing much of the other's native tongue. Her heart was always open and we rarely participated in small talk. She left us on March 1, 2016, after a long, hard battle with cancers. I was touched that she called me a sister and that she and her family let me share with her so many of her last and private days and months. I snapped this image of Susanna as we both drew from a live model in a shared studio in Florence during our first year of friendship. Her family generously gifted me Susanna's professional easel and my landlord drove to Firenze to take it home for me. We set it up in my studio recently and I will think of her every time I put it to use! She loved the arts so much.

Kickstarter Follow-up and More

Hard to believe it has been one year since you all helped me with the bronze casting Kickstarter project. I feel so grateful to have been able to save so many wax sculptures that I had created years before as I started my back-and-forth journeys between Texas and Italy. I still have much work to do on that front since the foundry did not really live up to its end, but the sculptures now exist in bronze and I will finish the metal work myself once I return to Texas.

I have been asked to create a larger version with a few changes to my Cattails and Frog Legs bronze sculpture for a pond. I am currently working on a new design for that. I am also continuing work on my second mural in Tuscany. This while I try to alternately rest and exercise my knee. Two falls in the first three months of this year: oy yoy!

[Cattails and Frog Legs Bronze Sculpture Pond Art]
Cattails and Frog Legs

19" h x 7" w x 6" d
Original Bronze Sculpture © Kelly Borsheim

[Charcoal Drawing Nightwatch Woman]

charcoal with pastel / carboncino con pastelli
64 x 46 cm
© Kelly Borsheim

Layaway Plan – Did you know of it?

I recently discovered that a dear friend of mine and a collector (who would like more of my work) did not know about my Layaway Plan! I sell a lot of my art with this. It is all about what is best for you. YOU set the amount you wish to pay each month. YOU set the date of the payment. YOU receive NO finance charge. YOU receive the art once it is paid for at YOUR convenience. One-third will be retained as non-refundable deposit for holding the art; however, you may apply that amount towards any other available Borsheim artwork in the event you change your desires. Need any more details? Visit my pricelist page: http://www.borsheimarts.com/pricelist.htm#layaway

The pricelist is here:
Thank you so much for sharing the artistic adventures!

Buy and Enjoy Art Now

[Marble carving Angel sculpture sculptor Vasily Fedorouk]
Original Sculpture - Marble and Granite Angel

24 x 7 x 6 inches
© 2007 Vasily Fedorouk

Angel Sculpture by Vasily Fedorouk

Carving stone was artist Vasily Fedorouk's favorite means of making art. My friend and mentor could carve practically anything. While he knew technique, most of our discussions dealt with design. In the last few years before his death, he spoke to me most often about the cleanliness of a line. "Find one beautiful line and work all other shapes to reinforce that line," he said while we worked side by side teaching a stone carving workshop at my former home in central Texas.

I hope you enjoy this design Vasily created of an angel in marble. She is 24 x 7 x 6 inches, marble on a granite base.

See more of his art online at: http://vasilyfedorouk.com
There are a limited number of available works, but please inquire.

Recent Blog Topics: Kristen

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[August Art Auction]

Thank you for sharing this journey with me. Thank you for sharing this newsletter with your friends and colleagues. Thank you. Please let me know if you would like to commission an artwork.

Kelly Borsheim
19 April 2016

[Kristen painting from live model]

27 x 15 inches (and framed); great price!
oil on canvas painted from live model
by Kelly Borsheim

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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.

or from Amazon.com:
Order from Amazon (US):
My Life as a Street Painter in Florence, Italy

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

[book street painting florence italy]
Above: Cover for book:
"My Life as a Street Painter in Florence, Italy"

by Kelly Borsheim

Order the book today
(Click on the image above.)

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…

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