Saturday, August 30, 2008

Getting close to unhomelessness

Last night I decided that I wanted to live in the Piazza Santo Spirito.  It is a cool piazza with restaurants and young, hip people.  There is a stage for live music at one end where a jazz band was playing last night and a big screen for movies at the other end.  In between is a fountain and tables for people to enjoy a drink and conversation.  

SO, I went to see an apartment today for a double room.  Not my ideal but I figure its better to share a room and have the experience I want than to have a single and not have fun.  I only met one guy at this apartment, but he seemed mellow and nice and I'm assuming the rest can't be too far from that.  

Tomorrow I will see another apartment in the piazza, again a double.  This one is a bit cheaper so it just depends on the people at this point.  Anyway, hopefully I will be sleeping in a bed I can call mine tomorrow night with one, rather than 4, other person.    Wish me luck!

Italian word for the entry: vivere - to live

Friday, August 29, 2008

I'm in Firenze!

Hi all!  I am finally in Florence.  After two years of planning this thing and waiting I am finally in Italy.  I got here two days ago on the 27th and ran into some trouble with my luggage.  It got stuck in Munich and didn't arrive until yesterday.  But I can't really complain about anything.  My time here has been really cool.  I've been apartment hunting with a few leads and also taking time to enjoy the city.  Heres the Ponte Vecchio at dusk.

Truly amazing.  The sunsets here are out of this world.  There are so many colors!  I wanted to paint it but realized that putting that range of color on canvas would look ridiculous.  Only in real life can it look as beautiful as it should. 

Today was the first day that I got to explore without an agenda.  I spent the morning drawing the Duomo and some sculptures in the Uffizi.  It was really nice to get back in my sketchbook.  The art in the public here is amazing.  It is so easy to just pass it by, but if you take a few minutes to look at the work and realize that it is over five centuries old and you develop a fuller appreciation for it.  

Here is the fake David in the Palazzo Uffizi.  I will for sure see the real one soon!  I think this is where the original one was first placed however.  

And here is the Duomo with a suspicious tourist.  The Duomo is really cool because it was a hugely progressive engineering design at the time that took over 170 years to complete.  Cambio, the one who designed it, and even Giotto, who took over the project later and was well known for his Scrovegni Chapel, didn't get the see the finished Duomo.   I still can't believe that I went from studying this last semester to walking past it every day.  

Italian word of the entry: Affittasi - for rent

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Summer Recap

As much as I thought I was going to be diligent about updating this thing, I seem to have failed at regularity.  In any case, here is what I've been up to this summer.  

After finishing my mural at Trader Joe's I did smaller sign paintings.  They threw some pretty interesting projects my way and it turned out to be great experience.  I got to use a whole bunch of mediums including acrylic on plastic, soft pastels, acrylic, and pray paint on foam board, paint pens and the usual pen on paper. 

Here's a sign that I was pretty stoked about.  This one is a plastic insert to the egg case.  Originally it was just white with the words "Fresh Eggs" in a boring font.  We ended up turning the whole top of the egg case into a sign. 

I finished at Trader Joe's a few weeks ago and since then have been painting, packing and moving out of Stockton.

A few weekends ago I was helping Casey move into her new place in San Rafael.  I was in charge of making the book case look cool.  I think I accomplished that with the help of a furry baby animal. 

Here's a painting I did for the June art walk.  This was my first oil on canvas painting since the end of school.  It was really nice getting back into it and I did this one pretty fast.  It didn't sell at the art walk, but I think it was a blessing in disguise.  I'm donating it to my friend Joyce's organization, EducateOne.  It'll be on auction this Friday.  If you're around you should go to the event in Berkeley.  

Oh right...  The Newark house had a BBQ/ reunion.  It was a bunch of fun and they welcomed us with their own hospitality.  Here's a picture that somewhat sums up the dynamic of the house.  We had a giant sleep over and most of us hung out for a bit the next morning. 

The following day was the Download Festival.  Casey and I ended up missing Tapes n' Tapes, but we soon forgot about it when Yeasayer came on.  

Their set was brilliant.  The amazing band with a new and different sound created another new sound while keeping their sweet vibe.  They had us bobbing out heads and dancing the whole time.  I can't wait for their next album.  

So, I just left Stockton last weekend.  I was all ready for the move when my car realized I was leaving her and decided to throw the towel in, 6 days before my departure.  It was a pretty big blow to my moral and pocket, but I decided the only practical option was to donate her.  

This is one of the saddest pictures I have taken.  Goodbye Sharona, I had fun.  At least my carbon footprint has decreased by 80%.

My good friend Lexi commissioned me to do a couple paintings for her and Bobby for their new pad.  They wanted a feeling of Hawaii.  Here's the two...

This one reminds me of my childhood, having grown up on the east side of Oahu.  Its Chinaman's hat (I can fill you in on the tall tale if you need some background for the name) with Rabbit Island in the distance.  It's a 30 x 40 in. oil on canvas.  

Here is the second one.  This is the largest oil painting I've done - 36 x 48 in.  At first I wasn't sure about this one, but after spending some time with it I now love it.  I think it was just not my usual subject matter, but I really like the way it turned out.

Now I am in San Rafael with Casey.  I just finished a painting for my buddy Richmond, but that picture won't be posted until he gets it this weekend.   This past weekend we went on a little outdoor adventure in Roy's Redwoods.