Thursday, 23 June 2011

Ju and Vic in Florence

First Vic and Ju did an 18 day tour around lovely bits of Italy and now they have come to stay with me in Florence for 12 days. We're having a lovely time shopping and oohing and aahing at the abounding splendors of the city, trudging home for a siesta when even the die hard shoppers can no longer push through the pain. We are staying together in a nice (but rather noisy) apartment near the Ponte Vecchio with a glorious outlook of the Arno. The heat is slowly building after a couple of weeks of cooler wet weather. In fact 2 weeks ago we had more rain in a few days than we've had since I've been here, including one spectacular storm complete with wind, driving rain, thunder, lightening and flash flooding in the street below me (see pics).

This apartment, while noisy, is certainly at the heart of Florentine action at the moment and there has been much happening here the past week. It seems that the Italians will take any opportunity to 1. make noise, 2. stay up late, 3. make noise while staying up late. We have bells ringing, cars and mopeds motoring, ambulances ambulating, fireworks, live street entertainment and people everywhere being people noisily. On the street below us we've had a city fun run, the celebration of San Giovanni (patron saint of Florence) and Oltrano Notte Bianca (White night in Oltrano) where all the shops stay open until the wee hours of the night and there is entertainment in the streets and squares, with restaurants spreading their tables out onto the road (see pics), streets blocked off from cars and everyone staying up all night. It's all go and I can only say hallelujah to the person who invented earplugs!

It's been so great to have mum and Vicki here and to see so many parts of Florence I haven't seen before and go everywhere on foot as opposed to whizzing past everything on my bike.

I have finished 2 trimesters at Angel Academy and have some more drawings to show for it including a charcoal cast drawing of an eye (I've forgotten to photograph it so will upload the photo next time) and a 5 week charcoal life drawing. The method is quite laborious - charcoal on a textured paper needs to be highly sharpened in order to fill in all the 'holes' in the paper - so I was pretty glad to be done by the end of 5 weeks but quite happy with the result. Next term I'm starting at the Russian Academy of Art instead, which is a 'structural' method of drawing and painting as opposed to the 'visual' method at Angel. It has been a big decision to change schools so hopefully I have made the right one.

I have 3 months off for the summer and need to work on a 10-point plan for surviving the heat which is purported to be intense. The Italian models at school call this 32 degree heat 'fresh' compared to the heat of summer. After mum and Vicki go I am heading for the UK for a week to see Philip, Jane, Livy and Robbie as well as a wee poke around London, then to Paris to visit Heidi and the Eifel Tower and the Louvre and then on to Amsterdam to visit my friends Marije and Sander for a week.

Then I will be back to battle the heat until some friends from my old church in Sydney come and we will stay in a villa in Umbria for a week. Then more heat in my little towering inferno until school goes back in September.

For latest pics go here.
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