Friday, January 23, 2009

The Story of Stuff

I found this video that is pretty interesting and lays out some great facts on consumption, consumerism, and waste.  When you have a free 22 minutes, check it out.  It's just another reminder to both buy and waste responsibly and to be aware of the effects our consumerism has on the environment. 

Monday, January 19, 2009

What have I been up to?

Well, Casey's went back to SF almost two weeks ago.  After picking myself up I've actually done a good amount while staying balanced.  The weather has been pretty fluctuant lately and thus have been my days.  When it's nice outside I make sure I enjoy it.  I've really come to realize that the sun makes me happy.  When it's not so nice outside, I enjoy staying relatively warm inside.  

About a week ago I caught the bus up to Fiesole, a neighboring town at the top of a hill.  It was such a nice day, so I decided that since it was such a nice day I would walk back.  It was a pretty long walk, but it was nice and allowed me to enjoy being out in the fresh air. 

On my way I found these fuzzy little plants growing up a fence.  This kind of sums up my day.  By the time I got back to Florence the sun had gone down and I saw this:

Pretty spectacular.  It caught me off guard and I actually did a double take when I first saw the full moon.  Anyway, it was a pretty good day.  

So, apart from enjoying my surroundings, I've been trying to get the near future in order, at my own pace of course.  I've applied for a few jobs, found a few farms to work on (still waiting on my #1's to get back to me) and have done some online organization.  Oh, and I sold a portrait!  is where I am now putting all of my work.  It is way easier to organize and navigate than my deviantart site.  It is probably work that you all have seen already, but check it out if you want a reminder!  

Also, I've posted a new JOpinion on Jotiumitch.  Apparently the site is still up and recent events have encouraged me to start posting again.  I know I'm being a bit vague, but I don't want to jinx anything.  Anyway, check it out: 

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Schools over but I have a bit more to catch up on before a look at Venice.

Here is my final sculpture piece.  Its not exactly what I pictured when I started it, but I'm pretty happy with it.  
I got a little "photo shoot" happy with it and set up some lighting and background.  

This is the "front" of the piece.  I consider it the front mainly because I think its compositionally the best side. 

For my final pastel piece we were to choose a relatively contemporary piece and use their composition and subject matter to create a piece from observation.  I chose René Margritte's Son of Man because I thought it would be fun to do a surreal piece from observation.

It's not the best picture, I just didn't have good enough lighting in my room to take another.  Anyway, I'm happy with it and it got some good comments in my final critique.  

And now on to Venice.  Last week Casey and I went to Venice for a couple days.  We got really lucky with plenty of sunshine.  Don't let it fool you though, it was still pretty cold and there was still snow left over from a couple days prior to our visit.  

Luckily we came prepared with thick coats!
Venice is pretty interesting.  I think its cool that this is the parking lot for the church.  There were come buildings where steps just emerged from the water the the door.

Basilica San Marco.  This piazza was pretty ridiculous.  It was huge with tons of intricate arches around a million windows.  It seems that intricacy was a big part of Venetian architecture.  Anyway, after walking around the piazza and take picture, we stopped by the gondola parking lot and had a snack.  Then it was on to...

The Peggy Guggenheim Collection.  Its pretty much her old house filled with some of the most impressive modernist art.  There was Kandinsky, Margritte, Picasso, Tanguy, Duchamp, Dalí, Fontana, Marini and a huge Calder mobile.  So cool!  It was such a treat to see it all.  After walking around the whole city and spending a good portion of time at the Collection, we ate a late lunch and headed for a warm hotel in Mestre, a city just across the bridge.

The next day we woke up early and headed back into Venice.  It was beautiful in the morning.  There was a calm, tranquil, cool feeling to it.

This pretty much sums it up.  The water was so still and the sun had such a warm color.  

But don't forget, it was still freezing (as evidence of the ice on the boat)

We made our way to the Basilica della Salute, built for Mary of health that helped the city through the plague.  Inside the octagonal shaped basilica were a number of renaissance paintings and sculptures, including a painting by Titian, probably one of the most famous Venetian artists.  

Here's the shadow of the top of the basilica cast on a building across the way.  

After making our way through the city again we headed back to Mestre to check out.  

Right across the street from the hotel was a wall full of awesome art.  We went over to take a look and realized that the art works continued around the wall onto the other side into a big parking lot.  The other buildings that enclosed the lot also had huge street art works.  Our conclusion was that it was so event that the city had and the big street artists in Italy came to leave their mark.  

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Rome and Cinque Terre

This past week has been full of traveling.  Casey and I went to Italy's capital to spend Christmas.  We saw the sights, indulged in delicious food, relaxed and enjoyed ourselves.  

Christmas photo in front of the Trevi Fountain.  All we need is a sweeping banner across the bottom in red and green that says "Happy Holidays!" in festive, italic font.   

Christmas Eve was spent at Vatican City.  We saw St. Peter's Basilica, the piazza, the Vatican Museums and again it was a Michelangelo filled day.  After all the sight seeing we got a nice lunch of stuffed gnocchi, a giant pizza with artichoke, prosciutto,  olives and egg, and a couple of beers.  And for dinner...CAKE.   We used the "It's Christmas, we're allowed to indulge" card.  

On Christmas we went back to the Vatican for...
Pope Benedict XVI's Christmas mass.  This picture is cool but kind of creepy.  It just looks like he's watching...  Anyway, it was a cool service.  He addressed world issues and wished everyone a Merry Christmas in over 20 languages.  

Like I said, it was packed. 

The next day we saw as much as we could before heading back to Firenze.  

The Pantheon being held up by Super Casey.  Last time I was in Rome I didn't get a chance to go inside, but I did this time!  It was pretty amazing.  When you enter you are just in this circular space with paintings, statues and altar pieces everywhere.  Then you look up to see an intricately designed dome ceiling with light flooding in from the center.  Italian's really perfected the dome.   

The last stop of the day was the Roman Forum and Colosseo.  The Forum was amazing.  It is the remnants of antiquity and displays how great ancient Rome was.  

It amazes me how they built these great columns that are still standing today, not to mention knowing that the marble probably came from up north.  We walked around the Forum for a while, stopped over to see the inside of the Colosseo and, with about 3 minutes to spare, hopped on a train back to Firenze.  

A couple days later we went to Cinque Terre, an area on the northwestern coast of Italy.  Cinque Terre or "Five Lands" gets it name from the five towns connected by walking paths.  Here are a few words to describe the experience: colors, beauty, kindness, fresh, delicious an the ridiculousness of nature's spectacular incredibleness.  There's just something about being by water that makes me happy.  

We ended our day with an ocean sunset next to a group of old men that you could tell have been friends their entire life.  

Italian of the day: Questo settimana passata era grandissima.  É stato un buon natale e buon anno!  A tutti hanno un grande 2009!   -   This past week was great.  It was a good Christmas and new years.  To all have a great 2009!