Thursday, June 30, 2011

Graffiti : Urban Street Art in Italy

A Dumpster in Florence.
My trip to Italy was amazing.  At this point I'm still recovering a bit and catching up on sleep.  While going through all of the 869 images I took during my travels I tried to find themes that I could blog about.  Putting the whole trip into one blog would be overwhelming.  So for the next 5-10 blogs I'll be picking one topic and writing about the images and sites I saw that made Italy so inspiring.  A few of the topics I'm considering: Graffiti, Stray Pets, Book Making, Mask Making, Glass Blowing, Sketch book entries, Architecture, Food, Flowers, Favorite Images, and finally Italy start to finish...We'll see how many months it takes me to get all of these posted :)!

Divider wall on the road to Rome from the bus window.

When I first arrived in Rome, I was taken aback by all of the Graffiti. I knew Rome for it's historical sites and gorgeous architecture, museums and crystal blue fountains, however I wasn't prepared for all of Rome's beauty to be covered with paint.  The more I looked around the Graffiti began to transition from what seemed like vandalism to amazing works of urban art.  The marks didn't always make since but the juxtaposition of historical buildings with their angular elegance covered in bright paint splashes of free moving motion-full expression was breathtaking.

Random building entrance on the streets of Cortona.
I learned that Graffiti actually originated in ancient Italy.  As sculptures and buildings were being erected graffiti was finding its way onto each piece taking shape as inscriptions and drawings and making a stir while it did.  Some of the earliest Graffiti examples were found on the ruins of Pompeii in 1851. The wonderful thing about the Italians is that they consider Graffiti an urban art form, whereas many people in the US see it as vandalism.  Still today as you walk the streets of Italy you can see art in motion with Artists creating their master pieces, even if only for a fleeting moment, on the streets, walls, and ruins that surround you.

Eistein Street Art in the Florence Shopping District.

Calicio Storico parade before the street fight.

Chalk Drawing on the interior wall of the Murano Glass Museum.

Exit of the Museum, giving this guy a smooch!

Stone, Brick and Graffiti.

Letter Glass Art on the Walls and Floor in Murano.

Street art and killer pants.

10 foot tall handwritten title of an exhibit at the Venice Biennale.

Pushing the arrow in just a little bit deeper...

Geometric stair rail with stone and graffiti markings.

Monday, June 13, 2011

ITALY Bags are Packed...Almost!

Can you tell which one is my "purse" and which is my "Carry on" Ha!
Alright one picture before I go. It's been a crazy weekend of market work, seeing friends before I leave, and eating WAY too much food with my family :)! My Mom made a strawberry pie to send me off and it tasted delicious! One last quick run to Target and Walmart and I should be sufficiently "stuffed" into my bags!

As you can see my bags are almost packed....might need to weed out a couple items in order to stuff it all in the overhead bins.  I will say - only bringing 2 pairs of shoes for a 2.5 week vacation is pretty GREAT in my book! Now let's just hope they don't tear my feet up on the cobble stone streets of Italy! :)

I can't wait to learn all about Venice, Rome, Cortona, Florence, and most importantly learn all about glass blowing in Murano! I hope to come back stress free and inspired...and maybe full of great food and lots of wine! Here's to exploring the old world in order to inspire my artsy world here in Iowa!

Adventures of an Artist "In Italy" to follow on future blog posts! :) Arrivederci!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Coffee Filter Fun!

I've been counting down the days till my big trip to Italy and I'm getting so excited! 6 days left, and I'll be walking the streets of Rome, Cortona, Florence, and Venice! I'll be posting pics of the packing situation hopefully before I go... should be pretty funny considering I've purchased enough new clothes to fill 2 full size suitcases... not the (1) carry on I'm allowed for the whole trip! Yikes!

So in the midst of all of the hustle and bustle, I decided to clean up my dining room, clear off the table, and wrap a birthday present. I dug the wrapping paper out of a bin in the basement. The price tag said 49 cents, and I'm pretty sure I purchased it about 5 years ago -go figure! Once the gift was wrapped it just didn't seem right to put a christmas bow on the crisp green and white paper, so I dug around in the kitchen and found some coffee filters! 

Below are the instruction on how to create a "make-shift bow" out of coffee filters! (I'm still working on my coffee filter light fixture... 5 months 1560 coffee filters and still working - that thing will get done one of these days!)

1) Take the coffee filter, lay it flat on the table and fold in Half.

Once folded in half fold it again. (In fourths)

Now in half again. (8th's)

Now that the Coffee Filter is folded in 8th's, cut the pointed end off in order to give yourself a nice area to affix to the object you are making.  For the light fixture project i'm in the process of finishing I used hot glue, for this project I used Scotch Tape.

Arrange the filters in a Bow like Pattern. The smaller gift I used about 25 filters, taped them in a central radial bow shape with edges that shot out from the right and left. After taping to the package I went in and "fluffed" the filters to make them poof off the package. Remember "poof" is key :).

For the larger box I laid the outside filters first creating a frame that followed the edge of the box, then filled the middle in with a line of filters stacked like fallen domino's then fluffed to fill the holes! This process strangely reminded me of back combing and fluffing my bangs in the early 90's - examples below....

Wow look at those bangs!

I think we gave Mel a few pills to calm her nerves before the big performance...

More finished product shots below -  remember the next time you wrap a gift that for 49 cents and a few filters your gift can look like a million bucks! Enjoy!