New Paints, New Art

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jgzaremba:

Until I figure out the new organization of this web-site and new art projects, I am merely going to reblog this from Elefantini (my “life in Italy” blog), to prove to you all that I am still alive, and still painting.

Cheers~

Originally posted on elefantini:

I don’t feel like my paintings belong on this blog (especially since I am no longer limited to Italian landscapes), but I feel uneasy putting any new art up on 25canvases.com as well, as they are not part of that project either.  So, what to do?  Oh, the dilemmas of an artist between one place and another.

However, this painting is, in a little way, part of life in Italy.  Mostly because it was painted in an Italian house, with Italian paints.  Which, to me, is ample reason to celebrate.  Because that means that I found a store in Ancona that sells acrylic paints and canvases.  I wouldn’t go quite as far as to call the place an art store, as the front of the store deals with keys and wall repair tools and other random things, and the art supplies aren’t all too impressive in selection (at least, not…

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Ciao, Ancona!

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I know that it’s been a while- but, I would merely like to say THANK YOU for all of your continued support and donations.  My art show was a great success- best night of my life, hands down.  I am still overwhelmed at everyone that showed up and contributed and encouraged and told me some of the best compliments that I could ever come up with.


A month later, I am settled down in my new temporary home in Ancona- wow!  Still trying to detangle myself from Austin, but very much looking forward to getting this Italian thing to work.

And come up with another art project… after so many months of constant production, the past month of nothing has not been too self-fulfilling in the art sense.

If you’re interested in my new life in Italy, follow me on elefantini!  And if you just care about the art… I hope to post a new series on here soon :)

And again, grazie a tutti!

Art Show: Ciao, Austin; Ciao, Ancona!

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As a final huzzah before moving from Austin, TX to Ancona, Italy, I am putting together a one-night art show to say good-bye to the (512), see old friends, meet new ones, sell some art, and share some inspiration.

ART SHOW POSTER

I am inviting friends, family, and the entire Italian community in Austin, but all are more than welcome.  Whether you love expressive landscape paintings, want to mingle with fellow artists, are looking to meet international people, want to listen to some great live music, are craving some Italian wine, or just want to come out for a colorful night- dai, vienni!  Come join us for an evening of fun, art, culture, and beauty.

This show is a tribute to how intensely Italy has inspired my life: the new compositions, new sounds, new friends, new goals, and plenty of spontaneous adventures.  This show is a tribute to how profoundly a place can invoke appreciation and change in an individual.  This show is a display of one girl’s passion for one land; but also, a celebration of finding one’s home in the world.  No matter how far away and foreign it may seem, it feels more comfortable and inviting than anything ever has before.

25 canvases and a one-way plane ticket.

Hope to see you all there!  A presto!

Canvas 25, "Into The Wild"

Canvas 25, “Into The Wild”

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All proceeds from paintings will be used as travel money to get me from Point A (Austin) to Point B (Ancona), so all purchases are greatly appreciated!  Pay Pal options will be made available, for those too far away to physically attend the show.

Canvas Twenty-Five

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What a bittersweet day!

Ladies and gentlemen, I uncover Canvas Twenty-Five:

Into The Wild

Into The Wild

Time to break tradition- this is actually a self-portrait :)
Photo credit goes to Matteo- my first Couch Surfer in the Marche region that took me on my first Marche adventure: a slippery hike through rainy, mountainous forests that included a near-death experience with a wild cow at the end of a mile-long, pitch-black “tunnel” with a very perilous ground.  And an isolated monk with a motor scooter and poison ivy and an impromptu hail storm that resulted in a clear, quiet sunset.  Oh, Italy.

I’m not sure what else to write here to wrap this project up- other than that this has been the most satisfying five-and-a-half months of my life when it comes to creation.  It’s been a constant stream of inspiration and passion for these paints.  I’ve loved mixing every hue and staying up through every night.  I’ve loved getting lost in memories and daydreaming up new ones.

Now, it’s time to plan an art show in Austin.  And buy that one-way plane ticket, and sell everything, and pack a bag, and make the hop across the ocean.

But, fear not, 25 Canvases will continue to live.  I will continue to paint, no matter where I am.  I like the concept of the project as well.  So, I’m thinking, I can do other countries as their own series.  Have a series for France and a series for Turkey and a series for Ireland and every other country in the world.  And always have a plane ticket as a reward- even if it will not necessarily be one-way.

And I will always keep adding paintings of Italy.  Because I’ll be living there soon and will only keep getting inspired by the view outside my doorway.  So… don’t leave me; I won’t leave this blog.

Grazie mille a tutti.  E’ stata una avventura.

And I hope that this is just the beginning, and that there will be many more adventures on the horizon.

Baci,

Simba.

Canvas Twenty-Four

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This is my first and favorite image that comes to mind when one says “Italy.”

Marche Hills

Marche Hills

A few steps outside of the city of Ancona: the boundless, rolling Marche countryside, where the colors of wheat and green apples cross-hatch across the hills and the undiluted blue of the sky above shines with the same vibrance as the ground underneath your feet.

A few steps outside of the city, there are chirping birds and wild mulberries dotting the side of the road and a sense of infinity that doesn’t end with the horizon.  As you keep walking, the hills keep rolling.  Rolling and growing and stretching and tempting you to cross just one more and see the view from there.  And then just one more, and one more.

PS:  Fun fact (kinda)- Remember Canvas C, back in the pre-numbered days?  That tractor was painted from photos taken on the same stroll out of Ancona and into the wilderness.  In fact, that red tractor is actually located on that second hill off in the  distance.  Cool, huh?

Canvas Twenty-Three

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At the beginning of this project, I had a very shallow, fleeting doubt that I would not have a vast enough collection of photographs of Italy to keep me going. Now, five months later and two canvases away from finish, I am having a very difficult time picking images/colors/atmospheres that I would like to portray.  Primarily because there are so many more snapshots that I would like to paint.

Maybe, once I set up my art studio on the other side of the world, I can re-commence and do another 25.  Or 250 ; )

For now, Canvas Twenty-Three:

Venetian Doorway

Venetian Doorway

I’m not one to succumb to tourist temptations, but I’ll never turn down a gondola ride through Venice.  Maybe it’s a lingering love for Phantom of the Opera, or the fact that that was always my first thought of Italy (not very original, I know- but I’ve grown since)… but, there’s something deeply romantic about floating through this historical labyrinth, turning into little canals and imagining the homes and lives that are found behind dilapidated archways such as this one.  Especially on a still evening in the late autumn, when the Venetian streets are empty and you need a blanket to bundle up in.

And an Italian Phantom to sing to you.

Canvas Twenty-Two

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Lago di Garda, near Verona.  Characterized by mountain backdrops, red umbrellas, and rich tourists.

Lago di Garda

Lago di Garda

Despite its popularity and crowded beaches, it does maintain its own sort of charm.  There is a path that goes around the lake’s 162 kilometers, so once you walk out of the upscale resort villages on Lago di Garda’s beachfront, there’s still plenty of room for hiking and getting in touch with nature.

Whenever I take a train out of Italy to Austria or France, I try to make a stop to visit my friend, who lives nearby in a little town that has more cornstalks than people.  After a day of bustling around Garda, the contrast of the countryside (and the best pizza in the world, from a tiny little pizzeria in the middle of nowhere) is very much enjoyed.

Three more canvases… it’s getting tough to not start looking at plane tickets already :)

Canvas Twenty-One

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August.  Thick, lazy summer afternoons, when the sun is at its zenith and there isn’t the slightest trace of a breeze.  When the stillness of the air vibrates with your own sluggish heartbeat and the sweat is trailing down the nape of your neck a few seconds after you wipe it off.

It was one of those afternoons deep in the heart of Umbria.  Our castle bedroom was still bearable due to its position behind a shadowed wall, but opening the windows did not bring any promise of cooling down in the next few hours.  So, might as well put on a layer of sunscreen, throw on the lightest clothes possible, fill up a few water bottles, and take a few minutes’ car-ride to nearby Montefalco.

What’s in Montefalco?  Nothing, really.  Except a plethora of vineyards that produce some of the best wine of the region.

Summer Vineyard

Summer Vineyard

The Romanelli Vineyard was wonderful, despite the heat of the day.  The owner of the place took us on a little stroll through part of its many acres of eco-sustainable farming grounds.  We learned in detail about the different types of grapes: differences in shape, color, taste, growth.  Afterwards, we were invited inside their house to taste their three main vines (Montefalco Rosso, Montefalco Sagrantino, and Montefalco Sagrantino Passito).  This was accompanied by homemade bread, delicious cheese from the region, and various cured meats of the village.  And followed by grappa.

Not only were the products extremely tasty, but the family owners of the establishment made the experience such a pleasure.  Their passion and devotion to the land is evident, and can be tasted in every drop of their wines.  It’s definitely time to restock my collection of Montefalco wines- and next time I stop by, it’s going to be a cooler day so that I can explore their entire stretch of walking paths.

Canvas Twenty

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Canvas twenty, folks! :)

Wintertime in Senigallia

Wintertime in Senigallia

As you all probably know by now, the Adriatic Coast holds a special part in my heart- especially the entire Ancona region.  And while I love the greenery and scenic cliffs of Monte Conero, when it comes to cities, Senigallia would have to be my favorite.  International people, universities, secret Parisian literary cocktail lounges, cozy bookstores, delicious and adorable restaurants with underground wine cellars, art galleries, summer festivals, a music scene, theatre, and, of course, the sea.

This is how I remember Senigallia from my last trip to Italy in December:  cold, a little bit dreary, windy, almost still.  Fading into the distance, yet all around you.  And while it doesn’t have the warm, welcoming feel of heavy summer evenings with aperitivos in the piazzas or music performances on the beach, this quiet, grey-er Senigallia still remains a fond memory.

Five more canvases, and it feels wonderful.  Thank you, everyone, for your continued support.  I cherish the comments more than anything :]

Canvas Nineteen

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Let’s start with this: I had a lot more fun painting this one than photographing it.

Roman Twilight

Roman Twilight

Two nights without sleep and almost a full day inbetween of just splattering paint… that’s my favorite kind of line-up.  (Especially when it is surrounded on both sides with Lion King performances.)  And, though I have never had a more difficult time figuring out what color the sky is, and it’s a larger canvas, it was still a very fun canvas to paint.

However, trying to take a picture of a larger canvas with many little strokes during sunny afternoons is not quite as much fun.  I still don’t think the real feel of the canvas is captured perfectly, but I’ve come to the end of my photography skills.  So, I’ll settle for this and include a close-up, to prove that I’m not lying ; )

Canvas19Closeup

Disclaimer aside, this is interpreted from an older photograph I took in the outskirts of Rome.  I found myself a CouchSurfer for the night after flying in from Turkey, but the profile was a little bit misleading.  First of all, he was not exactly in Rome, and second of all, he was not a cheery man.  I’m not quite sure why he wanted to meet new people if he’s against the entire human race.  But… after an awkward airport pick-up and before an even more awkward electricity-less house prank, we did go look at some Roman ruins and visited the Pope’s private summer village.  Nearby, there was also a beautiful ‘town’ perched on a cliff with the tiniest strawberries that I have ever seen (but 100x as sweet), as well as a beautiful sunset over a bridge with a magnificent collection of arches supporting the entire structure.  Point being, it was still a good stop-over before heading back to Marche.

And this is that sunset.  Uncharacteristic sky colors, cars wheeling by, and darkness settling into the summer heat.  It’s hard not to find a reason to smile in Italy, methinks.  It’s almost like the reasons are the ones looking for you… and they do not mind being over-whelming at all.

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