Monday, March 30, 2009

a weekend in roma

Our first weekend in drawing was spent in Rome! We stayed in a few apartments all fairly close to one another. From the window of my apartment you could see a little piazza that had a market every morning, fresh fruit!

The weekend was one of seeing and drawing.

some sweet graffiti

we went to the vatican museum, a ton of churches and walked everywhere.

i fell in love with piazza navona! and this trip really reminded me just how much i love rome! i loved getting to see it at night again too!
one of my favorite parts was the whole group sitting in a big circle in the middle of a piazza, all facing out and a 360 view! it was really fun and we got a lot of attention! haha!
the lovely jana papp
and here is my feet.....i love feet pictures.....
wicked cool bending tree
the soccer store...the place to buy tickets... i will most assuredly will be going to a game!

the optical illusion

Monday, March 23, 2009

venice and bologna....

(3-20 thru 3-22)

very early morning....and long train rides, picnic on the train...and some spillage in a bag, but we make it and step out of the station onto to the windy platform on the edge of the canal, sun beaming and sea in the air....

a forty minute walk across town, good thing jake is extremely good at directions, we enter a little piazza and see our into a snag with the rooms, thinking that we could just put all six of us into the triple we booked was a bad idea....but we dealt with it and spent two night in the top of a gorgeous hotel with a great view, the nicest bathroom i've seen thus far, and in the very heart of venice, right off the canal.

we take some time to chill then set out at dusk to explore, we stumbled onto the piazza di san marco.....which is gorgeous!
we pretty much got roses forces apon us, and jake bought them....what a guy :)
then we wandered and found ourselves on the rivalto bridge, with a view over the canal all lit up at night!
from there we found a cheap pizza place were i got one of my new favorite kinds of pizza--a little crispy thin crust, sause, light cheese and zuccini and pepper that had been grilled in olive oil.

back to the hotel for some drinks and a movie to relax and head to bed

woke up to the best breakfast i have ever had in a hotel! i ate so much food! yogurt, granola, fruit, pastries, nutella, sweet breads, eggs, teas, juice, cappuccino's with smily faces on them!

then we went back to san marco, went in for a bit, walked around the piazza, took some pictures, people watched, fed the of jakes head....good times

jumped on a gondola to cross the canal....a nice long walk found a place for a quick bite then into the guggenhiem!
what a cute italian gondola man! haha!

i loved the guggenhiem! favorite museum thus far!-it was a modern art collection, with gorgeous gardens--i don't have my notes with me so i will try to add some about it later...

from there...walked for a bit, some napped, some journaled....
we adventured out again that evening...back to the rivalto market, got a gift for my sister.....and a yellow scarf for me.....had a little picnic with jess and heather---yum yum...a third of a block of mozzerella, some bread and a tomatoe, back to san marco piazza to meet up with the boys, then we went on a gondola ride!!!!

back to the hotel to chill before an early morning forty minute walk to the station to bologna....(the time of that walk being 6:20 am)

we got to bologna and walk up the street to a large piazza, went into a museum to see the morandi exhibit--one of matt's favorite artists--check him out.

then we headed over to a nice restuarant for a long and relaxing meal....yum yum!

after that we walked to the far end of town and found a gorgeous park to lay in, soak up some sun, take fun pictures and drink wine!

pizza waiting for us and goodnight!


i have to be honest....after an early morning....and getting over my sickness....i was not in the best of moods to listen to long winded talks on church art....


the morning was good....but i was ready for lunch at 1:45 when we were given 5 euro. i was on a little bit of visual overload.... so here is the morning...

santa maria novella
question posed--how would i visually represent the church?

then...museo di san marco (rebuilt by cossimo medici)
fra angelico paintings
monastic cells

(one thing that was mentioned was that the best view of florences is from i need to find that on my next trip there)

lunch.....wandering and then the best pick me up!--cappuccino with a chocolate heart on top :)

after coffee i had a great afternoon seeing bits of florence
florence is a rennaissance city--the beginning of secular modernity

we saw the Bapistry infront of the duomo
and the gates of paradise! by Ghilberti
the Duomo bell tower
depicting the seven sevens
all the important trades of the city on bottom row

the orsonmichela "the garden of michael"
the guild's chapel--each guild ordered to commission a statue for their niche--florence liked to do things that drew everyone in together

Piazza Dela Signoria--main piazza, contains town hall
the masculine statues and authority of government offer a contrast to the the duomo (the mother church and father government)
the town hall is were the famous "David" was supposed to stand--which we haven't got to see yet...
the loggi is an amplitheatre...previous of civil speaches, but not used for concerts

we were sort of rushed through here, so not any good pictures....

then an amazing view overlooking the river
then we saw some art and back on the train....

Monday, March 16, 2009


8:30 bus ride toward the mountains, we speed along windy roads, passing beautiful mountains and lakes.

upon arrival we walk up a path lined with olive groves toward San Damiano. it is located amidst and olive grove, and is just gorgeous!
after exploring the church we walked up to a hill, picking sage on the way
and sat in an olive grove and sang worship songs, the sun was shinning, it was a perfect day in umbriathen up the mountain farther to a hermitage,Eremo delle Carceri situated right on the side of the mountain.

then the most delicious lunch ever! tomato salad, bread, cheese, olives, sausage, prosciutto, olive oil, blood oranges, and cake for desert! yum yum! i ate sooooooooo much! haha! if only we had some wine to go with!

tomato salad recipe-- ps was made fresh by matt on the spot!
little salt and pepper
olive oil

then a bit of a break in the main square outside of the basilica di santa chiara for espresso/gelato

after gathering, we wander toward the Basilica di San Francesco--where the spectacula frescoes by Giotto are located

these frescoes were just breath taking! it was my first encounter with this early of work were i really connected with it. even though the frescoes were faded, it was so bright in there, every part of the interior was in color--i wonder how it would have looked the day after he finished!

and here is my ranting about Giotto:

he just engages you, makes you think
his work almost seems modern--the illutrations, the coloring, the use of distorted perspective giving it a someone surreal feel. and the beautiful pattern work along the bottom and throughout all the frescoes!--they covered buildings, drapery, floors, everything...
there is just such a strong graphic element to his work, that as a designer i can't help but love!
i love how the frescoes are painted and balanced in three
the flase symetry
the triangular and linear elements Giotto uses
the framing and reframing
the layers and diagonals, and the multiple planes that it creates
and there is a fascinating tension between Giotto and St. Fransic--it is amazing how Giotto brings to Fransic to life in his work and capture the spirit of who he was
yet despite the subject matter, there is such a sense of playfulness, which as a designer i love, i love that the subject can be serious, yet show in a light way that still works and is still true to the subject, in fact it even better communicates the subject!

giotto=designer's eye candy (in the words of matt--our director)

ok that was long winded.
i will add pics later, i just wanted to get this up!


Sunday, March 15, 2009

week three: a papal audience

wed of this last week we made another trip to rome......for a papal audience!
before the event....without espresso yet....

we were literally maybe 30 yards away, and he waved to us when they announced our group form gordon college!

Monday, March 9, 2009

settemana due

jungle jam

silas (matt, our director's son) celbrated his birthday a week ago, but they didn't tell him, so we just had his birthday....and it was a jungle party!

we dressed up as various animals, and face painted and enjoy company and food :)

as well as a little music!-i got to play drums with alessandro-i miss drums so much! and i loved it!

two trips worth noting: arezzo and roma

saturday a small group took a day trip to arezzo, a town to the north, about half way to florence. it is home of the famous pierre della francesca "true cross" fresco cycle. the town is larger than orvieto, and not situated on a hill. lots of beautiful medieval architecture, a park with a gorgeous view, oh some great shopping!

so here is the skinny:

train departs at 8:15 ish.....

first stop, an a little caffe for some capuccino and a second breakfast sandwich

then the church with the frescos, no photos allowed.... and we made our way up to their duomo...

while arezzo's duomo facade can not compare to orvieto, it was still beautiful with gorgeous stained glass and side chapel

then wandering in the crowded streets for a bit, stopped in some stores, got provisions at a open market and back to the park for the most perfect picnic lunch! wine, bread, cheese, prosciutto, and new favorite meal!
after a very long and satisfying lunch, time for gelato! blood orange and vanilla! yum yum!
some shopping and back on the train to orvieto!

roma trip due
some beautiful churches!

and the trevi fountain for a moment

and a walk back to the train at dusk

Monday, March 2, 2009


so we went to rome and here is a little tour:

first.... 5am get up....arrive at rome 20 til nine and snack (pineapple yogurt)

second.... nationale museum of roma


fourth....gelato, panini, open market tomatoes

fifth....various cites, colosseum, etc.

seventh....gorgeous overstated church....dead camera battery