[Borsheim Arts Studio]

Return to
Newsletter Table of Contents

Borsheim Art Newsletter:

by Kelly Borsheim copyright 23 February 2016

  • New oil painting: Guardian of the Mysteries
  • Serpents in Art History
  • USA visit: Exhibits in April and May
  • FAA posted new images for products and in some cases even the originals
  • Pontremoli Follow-Up: Another hand on my Bird
  • Stone Carvings by Vasily Fedorouk
  • Blog Highlights: Making Sausages in Tuscany
  • Subscription Info.

Subscribe to Borsheim Art News
[6-8x per year; your info. never shared]:
Your Name:
Your E-mail:

[Hercules Heal pinched by crab serpent art]

In this Green vase, Hercules fights a multi-headed serpent [the Hydra] while a crab pinches his heel. Etruscan Water Jar, c. 525 BC, Collection of Getty Museum

Dear Art Lover,

Serpents, snakes, and their legged, related reptiles, the dragons, have been a part of art history perhaps since humans began to make art. The serpent is featured in many cultures around the world and is associated with both positive and negative attributes. Many represent gods or creatures close to the gods, so they are often associated with divinity and wisdom.

Because they have the ability to completely shed their skins, generating new ones quickly and without harm to themselves, they also represent immortality and rejuvenation. In addition, snakes represent healing and are in the caduceus, the emblem of doctors. Snakes and rods or sticks are often linked together in folklore, with a common motif of wooden staffs turning into snakes. This is another way to show that they are affiliated with the divine. The story of Moses may be the most famous of the variations on this story.

Because serpents tend to wrap their cold-blooded bodies around things or coil themselves while resting, the spiral shape is often used in art to depict serpents or serpent-like qualities. The Great World Serpent is said to use his long, flexible body to circumvent the Earth. The Ouroboros is a circle in the form of the snake eating his own tail. The symbol represents infinity and the word is also the name of this Great World Serpent.

The snake can be used as a sign of fertility and the creative life force.

Because some snakes tend to attack when provoked, instead of “running,” even when the “attacker” is unaware of his intrusion or offenses, some snakes have received the attributes of vengefulness and vindictiveness. However, this “hold their ground and fight” quality has also given snakes the role of protectors, especially of unmovable treasures. It is this role of guardian that interested me for this next oil painting that I present to you.

Guardians of the Mysteries
Oil on special paper, unframed
70 x 52 cm [27.5 x 20.4 inches]
Copyright 2017 Kelly Borsheim

See more images of the set-up and works-in-progress on this oil painting here:

You might enjoy this newsletter which describes with images my trip to the Etruscan Museum and grounds in Vulci, Maremma, Tuscany, Italy. There are at least two serpents in the photos of a vase and a sculpture here:

[Serpents guard our myths and stories oil painting still life]
Guardians of the Mysteries
Snake painting
© 2014-2017 Kelly Borsheim

[Serpents guard our myths and stories oil painting still life]
Guardians of the Mysteries [detail]
Snake painting
© 2014-2017 Kelly Borsheim

Some serpents in Art History

[horned Serpents cave art]
American Indian horned serpent
Pony Hills and Cook's Peak, New Mexico
Snake paintings Cave Art
Right: Serpent shown as spiral. Rock art photo by IntrepidXJ on Flickr

[Serpents shown as a spiral rock art]

[Minoan Snake Goddess]
Snake Goddess
Crete Minoan Palace at Knossos
Middle of Second Millenium BCE

[Medusa Center of Pediment Temple of Artemis Corfu c 580 BCE]
Medusa, Center of Pediment - Temple of Artemis, Corfu, c. 580 BCE..

[Demeter, Terra-cotta, 3rd - 2nd Century BC, Museo Nazionale delle Terme, Roma, Italia art]
Demeter, Terra-cotta, 3rd - 2nd Century BC, Museo Nazionale delle Terme, Roma, Italia

[Asian Naga serpent art]
Serpent as protector
Asian - Naga

[Greek Water Vase Hydria Art Museo Nazionale Roma]
Greek Water Vase Hydra
Museo Nazionale, Roma [this one is my photo]

[Greek Hercules Fights Hydra art]
Hercules Fights the Hydra, a multi-headed serpent, Greek art

[Konrad Gesner's Version of Magnus Sea Serpent Historia Animalium 1558]
Konrad Gesner's Version of Magnus Sea Serpent Historia Animalium 1558

[Serpent vase two snakes art]
Two snakes decorate this vase

[snake eagle mosaic Great Palace Constantinople symbolizing Triumph Light Over Darkness]
snake and eagle mosaic -Great Palace Constantinople, symbolizing the triumph of light over darkness

[Utagawa Kunisada II Woodblock 1860 Japan courtesy robynbuntin.com art]
Utagawa Kunisada II Woodblock 1860 Japan courtesy robynbuntin.com

[Serpent People Art Sculpture]
Serpent people

[Serpent worship Egyptian art]
Serpent worship Egyptian art

[Serpent for tail Wounded Chimera of Arezzo, Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Florence]
Serpent for tail: Wounded Chimera of Arezzo, Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Florence

[Ouroboros Serpent Eating Its Own Tail art]
Ouroboros: a Winged Serpent Eating Its Own Tail

[Vase Bronze or Metal with Snakes as Handles]
Metal [bronze?] Vase with snakes as handles

[Laocoön and his two sons, Antiphantes and Thymbraeus, are attacked by serpents sculpture art]
Laocoön and his two sons, Antiphantes and Thymbraeus, are attacked by serpents, marble

USA visit: Exhibits in April and May

Since two doctors in January contradicted the specialist in December who told me that I needed ACL reconstruction surgery (on my knee) with a painful six-month rehabilitation, I ended up INSTEAD doing electro-magnetic and e-stimulation therapy. I am still working on healing my leg, but without surgery, it should be safe for me to visit the US in April and May. I cannot wait to see all of my brothers and sisters in the same place, with our mother, too! [It may have been 20 years since that has happened!] We will be celebrating the marriage of the youngest of my siblings in late April.

Art Events: Texas and Indianapolis, Indiana

  • April 2017: Gilbert Barrera’s Sculptor Dominion - Boerne, Texas
    The first weekend in April should be the grand opening and I plan to be there with my marble sculpture. I do not have details yet, but by next month's newsletter, I will let you know the specifics. This event used to be held in San Antonio, but the new venue should be relaxing and spacious.
  • May 19-20, 2017: Austin, Texas: LiberArte:
    W. 6th the condos are called 7
    May 19th from 7pm-10 (or later depending on crowd)
    May 20th 4pm-8pm
      Exhibiting Artists:
    • Leandro Klapputh - Buenos Aires
    • Adrian Moraru - Moldova
    • Denis Chernov - Moscow
    • Luis Rico - Mexico
    • Maria Fotaki - Greece
    • Kelly Borsheim - Italia
    Writes the organizer, Brenda: "I am going for light Mediterranean bites, and Wine/Champagne. We will have a nice louge style ambiance with DJ Fuego of Austin. This is going to be a blast!"
  • I will be traveling through Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Indianapolis (Franklin Barry Gallery on Monday, May 15 during gallery hours), Chicago area, and Oklahoma. It would be great to "bump into" you, if possible. Let me know where you are and if we can work out a visit. Thank you!

[The original love story Adam Eve Serpent sculpture]
The Original Love Story with serpent!

Fine Art America [FAA]: Art products Some Originals

I teamed up with Fine Art America a couple of years ago. It has been fun to see my art of products such as pillows, shower curtains, and prints on metal and more. Here is a sampling. I hope that you will give this a look. It is a great idea to introduce someone to art at an affordable price. If you do not see your favorite artwork by me, please contact me and I will add it to the store. Thank you! And have fun! Here is the link:

Some specs:
  • FAA: Our shower curtains are made from 100% polyester fabric and include 12 holes at the top of the curtain for simple hanging from your own shower curtain rings. The total dimensions of each shower curtain are 71" wide x 74" tall.
  • Wood prints: The art image of your choice gets printed directly onto a sheet of 3/4" thick maple wood. There are D-clips on the back of the print for mounting it to your wall using mounting hooks and nails (included).
  • Il Dono The Gift iphone 7 case by Kelly Borsheim.   Protect your iPhone 7 with an impact-resistant, slim-profile, hard-shell case. The image is printed directly onto the case and wrapped around the edges for a beautiful presentation. Simply snap the case onto your iPhone 7 for instant protection and direct access to all of the phone's features! There are cases for other models of phones, AND you get to chose your own cropping on the art!

[Effervescence fountain art on shower curtain]
Effervescence - fountain drawing on a shower curtain!

[Tuscan Table painting art on maple wood]
Tuscan Table - Painting on maple wood, needs no frame!

[Il Dono figure drawing on phone case]
il Dono - figure drawing on a phone case!

Update: Pontremoli, Italy:

Update from September 2016: Kumiko returned to the Medieval Festival in Pontremoli, Italy, last September and discovered that a year or two before another stone carver was asked to "finish" our pieces. My bird still looks like a bird, but Kumiko's whole idea was changed! Remember how limited a time we had, especially for the size of our marble? Well, she was working horizontally, but had designed and was carving a vertical FLOWER. Now, look, the other artist turned her flower into a dragon! Kumiko told me back in 2013 that one must remain flexible and creative in the symposium situation. She was right! So, what do you think? The new, finished sculptures are in Kumiko's photo below, used here with permission.

Have a look at our original stone carvings [to see how they changed!] and the Medieval Festival


[Symposium stone carvings changed in subsequent years by other artist - Pontremoli Italy...the vertical flower becomes a horizontal dragon; the bird becomes Asian]
What our stone carvings look like now after another artist had his turn with our sculptures! Pontremoli, Italia September 2016

[Original marble figure couple sculpture Vasily Fedorouk]
Children of Paradise
© 2000 Vasily Fedorouk

Vasily Fedorouk’s Stone Carvings:

I am sure that I have written before that I was in complete AWE of Ukrainian-American sculptor Vasily Fedorouk when I first met him and saw him work in the summer of 2001. He blocked out a large belly dancer fountain in marble in about four days. Then he used a mechanical lifting arm he had mounted inside of his vehicle to load the marble sculpture into the back of his truck/van and drove off to his back-then-home in Seattle.

My own first stone carving teacher told me that I could carve anything EXCEPT the figure since she did not know how to teach that. But I could not give it up and carved a woman anyway. Most of the carvers I knew carved ribbon-like flowing shapes with a hole somewhere. I used to tease Vasily that he was god. He grumbled, “No, I am a man.” “Even better,” I said, “One expects great things from a god.”

I was lucky that year at the symposium in Marble, Colorado, because my carving site was within easy viewing of Vasily’s space. I probably spent more time watching his process or actually asking him questions about marble carving and even design. It seemed the most natural thing in the world to do and I was surprised how few other sculptors there did the same.

I miss my friend and am trying to help his wife Dilbara find good homes for the sculptures that are still available. Thank you for sharing the link to his site with anyone you feel would appreciate his work, as well as any images of his art. I want to share two of his stone carvings today. “Children of Paradise” is so very lovely and features a couple is yin and yang sort of poses. This work is one of the better examples of his signature way of making hair and other shapes. Isn’t it wonderful?

The second piece is a monument that he carved. I do not know the stone, but it may be basalt or another hard rock, but I do not believe it is granite. I include this one because it fits the theme of this serpent-oriented newsletter.

I encourage you to visit his Web site and have a look around!

There are a limited number of available works, but please inquire.

[Original monument stone sculpture serpent dragon Vasily Fedorouk]
Serpent Monument
stone carving
© Vasily Fedorouk

Recent Blog Topics:

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.)

Back to Top of Page


[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; or add an existing work to your home or work collection.

Kelly Borsheim
23 February 2017

[Salvador Dali Sculpture exhibit in main Piazza in Pietrasanta Italy]

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.

Back to Top of Page

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…

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

Copyright © 2017 Kelly Borsheim
All Rights Reserved