Wednesday, April 20, 2011


So, taking a break from studying Art History. Its kind of crazy how after today I will pretty much be done with all of my classes here.
I'm really happy with what I have learned and gained from this semester, and despite a few bumps I'm really happy with the growth Ive had with my paintings. I'm actually really sad I wont be able to have them for a year, but I made sure to get some pictures of them before they get packed up on a crate.
This semester has been one big growth spurt, and I think influences from Italy will continue to work into my pieces as time goes on. Its almost like I have been growing with Italy itself. We got here when it was still wintertime, and as we grew and gained knowledge, so Italy grew into spring. (Yeah cheesy analogy I know, but I think its true) Its so beautiful here now, and I'm going to miss how beautiful everything is. Not that home isnt beautiful its just different.
I'm also excited to keep making books. Its a skill that I'm surprised I like so much, but it is soothing having a task to just build something, and after its done it can be used by other people.
The way I think about my art has changed, and I have been thinking more about why I like something, or why I dislike something. Ive discovered I like having my art grounded in something physical, or scientific.  But I do have to say I love it when artists can take that skill and make it more gossamer or less literal.
  I feel a sense of growth because I can discuss the reasons I like or dislike art in a more educated way. As simple as that may sound its very encouraging, because I have struggled with my pride. I never gave certain art styles a chance. For instance, I had no idea what West Coast Abstraction looked like. We watched a movie called "The Cool School" and I kind of understood more what its about.

I feel like Ive made big steps this semester, and I'm excited to come home and see how this life experience influences me even more. The Director of the program said in his artist talk that we may not feel like we have been influenced now, but this is an experience that will effect your life in ways that you won't expect in the future. I think he is right.
I just know I have no regrets when I leave Cortona. I took every opportunity I could, and worked as hard as I could. I still managed to have a very good time, and am really happy with the friends I have made here.
I can't wait to come back with family. I'm so excited to show them this place.
Va Bene!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Rome take 2 and Siena

So this week has been really busy.
Thursday our painting class took a trip to Rome for the day and got to see the national modern art museum, and a visit a couple studios of artists working in Rome.
The best part about the trip is the end. You would think having over an hour to get to the other side of Rome would be good right? Not... We literally ended up running to the train station. Across streets, through traffic, and restaurants. Pretty much the highlight of my trip! We were laughing the whole way... until we were legitimately sprinting down to the train.
Yesterday we went to Siena which was very beautiful. The Duomo was probably one of my favorite churches this far. It is built out of black and white marble that is laid in stripes. Part of the creation story of Siena has to do with Rome. Romulus and Remus created Rome, but one of the brothers actually had twin sons as well, who went on to found Siena. It was said that they rode into where current day Siena is on a white horse and a black horse. Which is why the duomo is black and white. Oh yeah I saw St. Catherine of Siena.... well... part of her... her head actually.... which was... um... strange...
After having minor freak outs last night with finishing everything that is due within the next week, I realized I really don't have too much left, and I can relax a little bit. This morning we went into town and saw the classic car races! It was really awesome to see all of these nice old european cars. There was one Dodge Challenger there though! However.... by the end of the race it was smoking pretty bad.... oops...
At this point I really only have an exam, a painting, and a few scribbles in a book left. I'm looking forward to the last few days in Cortona where we can relax and enjoy the city before Venice.
Its sad knowing we only have one full week left, and we all know how fast that is going to go. I guess right now I'm kind of enjoying the calm before the storm of things that are going to happen this week.

I got to see a camp friend this week! Taylor Rebecca actually came to Cortona to visit her roommate who happens to be studying here with me! IT was awesome talking about camp things, and randomly singing songs while in Rome.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

An End in Sight

So, as bittersweet as it is, we only have two weeks left in this wonderful town. The last week we will be in Venice. (I'm so excited about Venice) Its crazy though, because at the end of this week I need to have two paintings finished, my paper written, and oh probably have that book done. At any rate I have all week to work on things so I'm not too stressed.... yet.
Everything is green now. The trees just sprouted new leaves, and they are that bright beautiful green. Its so hard because the only thing I want to do is sit in a bar/cafe and people watch. Now that all the tourists are here its a completly different city!!! When we got here there was basically a few locals toddling around but now its packed with people.... (lots of middle aged single american women. *cough*underthetuscansun*cough*) Not that I have anything against them, but you can tell because they keep talking about it. Lots of Italians visiting too with their families. Its kind of amazing how tourists bring a town to life. The locals have also become increasingly more surprised the more Italian we speak. Its not like we are saying anything different, its just everyone else won't speak Italian who comes. The waiter at the Trattoria we went to got really excited when I used the phrase 'anchio' correctly in a conversation. It was pretty funny.
Also, they don't believe in sunscreen here, and/or they dont like people who HAVE To wear sunscreen.... The higher the grade of sunscreen you want the more expensive it gets! HOW LAME IS THAT?! so, I got the spf 10 and it was still 11 Euro. Bright side is, I may actually have some sort of a tan when I get back.... not saying it will be a pretty one... but I may not be glow in the dark anymore.
I registered for classes, and I'm hoping to graduate Summer 2012, so I will only be a super senior for the summer! I'm going to be very busy the next year but I think that will be good. The more off time I have the more distracted I get and the more I procrastinate.... hahahaha.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Got Georgia on my Mind

I know it has been awhile since I posted a blog, but here we go.
Today we went to Arezzo for our trip. I really had a lot of fun. It was only a 30 minute bus ride, and the weather was perfect.
It was nice because I was able to find a few things that I could wear for spring. For some reason I forgot that aspect when I was packing. haha oops.
There was a cool antique fair going on all day. There was some cool stuff, and got a pair of sunglasses..... I forgot a pair.... again... a packing fail on my part.
We went and ate Chinese today, which was surprisingly cheap and tasty. Maybe its because its been two months since Ive had anything resembling Chinese food.
It was cool walking through a home decoration store... kind of like Pier one  except a million times better. I know what I want my house to look like...... whenever that happens... oh well. lol My house will be awesome. That is one thing I like about Italians. They may live in a tiny apartment, but that apartment will be that person's palace, and will be beautiful. Kinda like the way they dress. Its rare form to see a frumpy Italian.
I also had a realization on the bus. I realized I love it here, and I love the people (most of the time lol), but there isnt really a place to belong. Its like being in a constant state of being a tourist. Especially in such a touristy town like Cortona. I mean theres no way for people to know that you are living there and studying. So, you get treated just like all the annoying tourists toddling around Cortona in a half dazed confusion.  boo. Thats why its nice to be known by a shop clerk, or a barista at a local Cafe.  I mean it was encouraging because people were speaking to me in Italian today, so I must be looking more European. hahaha.
I'm surprised at how much the weather is lifting my spirits. It was the first day that I was comfortable in a short sleeve T-shirt.  I mean I was in a good mood already, but good company, good food, AND good weather?! awesome.
Life is Good :)