Monday, June 29, 2009

First Painting

OK, here it is. I'm calling it "Window in Burano" after the photo that inspired it. I just have to figure out how to sign it without messing it up. I'm not so good with a brush to sign my name small that nicely. :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sunday in Bergamo

We spent Sunday afternoon in Bergamo, what a pretty town. The "most beautiful city in the world" according to one of my colleagues who is from there. It is only about 30 minutes away from where we live with a long, long history. Enjoy the pics here!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Musings on Creativity

I've been exploring my creativity lately, and this morning I was pondering and wondering and thinking about things as I painted. Yes, I started a painting last weekend and have been working on it in the mornings.

I was pondering...

...when I forgot how much fun it was to play with colors. Seriously, how could we go through every day life without playing around? Who decided that being a grown up means that you have to leave behind this kind of fun? This kind of freedom? All that work for the stuff that fills our space, but not the things that fuel our soul.

...when I gained so much fear about being creative. What, are the paints going to jump out and bite me? So what if the color doesn't match exactly what I was thinking. So what if that image doesn't come out like I planned in my head. It's coming out better! What is there to be afraid of in our creative endeavors? Somewhere along the way I became afraid of trying, afraid of failure. But when I think about it, what's the worst that can happen? I can't even think of a "worst" that should prevent me from trying.

...why I want to share what I create. It seems to me, that creativity is not to be kept in a closet, hoarded, kept secret. When you create something, it's to share with others. Like little kids - "Mom, look at what I made!" - what we create is meant to be shared. You never know how it will influence your life, someone else, what it was meant for, unless you put it out there. We create for a reason, we just aren't going to know that that is right in the moment...

My recent lessons: Don't be afraid. Have some fun. Play. Create. Share. Feel free to join me on this creative journey, there's room for EVERYONE here!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Too busy to blog

This week has been a good week! I've just been too busy to blog, too busy to sort through pictures from Bellagio, too busy doing other things with my time. Like...
...getting all of the pictures from the last two months onto our desktop computer and backed up.
...getting the computer set up in the first place!
...reading Eclipse again. (I found a paperback English version in a bookstore! I knew there was a reason I kept going into bookstores even though I can't read Italian.)
...starting a painting.
...buying some new music - Slumdog Millionaire Soundtrack.
...going to Brandon's class presentation on climate and weather (see Patrick's blog).
...and some setting up of the house, although Patrick has done most of that!

So, you see, no time for the blog! Here's a pic of our shared laptop desk at home. I work here in the evenings and Patrick uses it when I'm not working. The magnet board has art cards of paintings I love at the museums we've visited. Hey, this is starting to feel like home!

Monday, June 15, 2009

The last of Venice - for this trip

Here are the pics of our last two days in Venice...

Day 3 Pics
Day 4 Pics

We will definitely go back there, I loved it!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Creative Urges

I've been exploring my creative side more lately. One of my personal goals of this time in Italy is to examine a few things about myself and how I want to live my life. I'm in a completely new situation which means that it is easier to consciously choose to do things differently, since I have to anyway.

Here, there is all this amazing art everywhere you turn... In the past few weeks I've seen more art in person than I think I have in my whole life combined. I've seen original paintings by Monet and Picasso and Kandinsky and Ernst and Chagall and Pollock... incredible. And through it all, there has been this tug, this urge to paint. Not paint watercolors, which I've done before, but to paint with deep colors and thick paint and to create.

So yesterday, I went out and purchased a starter set of acrylic paints and some paper (that was an adventure in itself, finding the store and trying to talk with the owner about what I was looking for). And today, I played around with the paints... mixing colors, getting a feel for the brush on the paper, playing with some techniques. I know nothing about painting with acrylics, I've never done it before, but I'm learning.And it was FUN!!!!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

More Photos of Venice

Here are photos of the second day in Venice, when we visited the islands of Murano and Burano. Each island has it's own different personality! Very enjoyable.

Today has been a nice lazy day at home, with a nice walk into the Parco di Monza and gelato in Vedano.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

First Photos of Venice

Here they are, for you to enjoy! Today I went through the first day of Venice photos, and posted my favorites. I hope they give you a little flavor of the city and what we experienced. The rest will come soon.

Today I also did my first clothes shopping here in Italy. I asked Paola, one of the women I work with here, some good places to go. I wanted to get a couple more skirts for the hot weather to wear to work and for travel, so much cooler and nicer looking when you can't or don't want to wear shorts! She pointed me to an outlet store nearby and a good mall. I didn't find anything at the outlet store but did have some luck at the mall. Sizing is different and the average body type is different here so it was interesting at first trying to guess what size to try on. After a few visits to the "camerini" I had it narrowed down to a range of 2 or 3 sizes.

I can tell I'm getting used to the more expensive prices here, because I was happy to find two skirts and a shirt I liked at a couple of different stores at a "good price". On the "cheap" end of things, really. It was Euro 70.00 total - which equates to around $100 at the current exchange rate. Now, at home, my favorite stores are Ross and TJ Maxx and don't like to spend more than $20 on any one piece of clothing - and that only occasionally - so this is a lot for me! But that's the price we pay for living in Italy - literally.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Love at First Sight

Venice. What a feast for the eyes, food for the creative soul. What an amazing place to see, to experience, to photograph. It made me want to stop and take in every view, explore the city at all day to see how it looks in every light. I think this ranks up there as a place that everyone should visit in person before they die... along with the outlying islands of Murano and Burano that we also visited.

This weekend I intend to sort through the 898 photos I took to find the very best to share with you all. Until then, I updated my profile pic as a teaser. Sometimes I can't believe that we live in Italy and we are able to just walk out the door with our suitcase and get to a place like this in a couple of hours.

This has been a crazy week for me, and as soon as we arrived home from Venice on Tuesday evening I was working and on the phone to Corvallis. We had a big meeting on Thursday between my company and the company we work with, had visitors in from Corvallis so lots of meetings, dinners, etc. and I am tired! I look forward to a calm weekend at home, sorting through pics.