Friday, January 21, 2011

Florence Flashback

Well, I'm feeling better now, so it's back in the blogging saddle...

Ten years ago today, I sat in L'Accademia in Florence, Italy, and drew this.

It's still kind of hard to believe that I lived and studied in Florence and did things on your average, everyday afternoon like like doodle masterpieces made hundreds of years ago by the giants of Western art in my own el cheapo sketchbook.

Florence was a wonderful, horrible, and strange time.

I had a view of the Duomo from my bedroom. My good friend and talented classmate tragically died there. Actor Peter Weller was in my High Renaissance and Mannerism class.

Wonderful. Horrible. Strange.

And it is harder to believe it was ten years ago. It makes me feel that I am so old, and makes me realize that I was so young.

Flipping through my old sketchbooks just last week and seeing this drawing dated ten years ago ( I hardly ever date anything I draw)... well, it just struck me how much Italy changed me, artistically and personally, and how much I've changed since then of my own accord.

From the David sketch to this watercolor of the Boboli Gardens, I don't know if I could show either of these pieces to anyone who knows me (or reads my blog) now and have them ever think that I did them. They are not cute, cartoons, cakes, or cats.

I have to admit, I love how it's this little gem of green in the far more familiar sea of drawings full of animals, saints, animal saints, girls and character sketches from whatever books I was reading at the time that make up my Italy-era sketchbooks.

Speaking of animal saints, they even crept to my metalsmithing work there, too.

I don't even do metalsmithing anymore. And animals saints? I abandoned drawing those circa 2002. Using this letter opener that I made with my own hands ten years ago feels more like using something that an ancestral relative of mine made long ago. It feels like someone else, it was that long ago and things are so different for me now.

But then, I guess some things do stay the same after all. I mean, it's a cat. I made a cat letter opener. That IS very like me!

How is it that ten years can feel like a nap and an eon all at once? Blast you, time!

When I returned from Florence, I found these old, old souvenir mini-photos at the flea market in Syracuse. They're of Piazzale Michelango, San Marco, the Bargello (my favorite museum! Other than the oddity that is La Specola, at least), and of course, the famous skyline of Florence itself.

They're even older than my personal Florentine artifacts, but it's very interesting to me to see how much Florence changed and yet stayed the same herself, from the time these photos were taken to when I was there many decades later.

Yup, ten years. I think it would be nice to go back, to give Florence another shot seen with the same eyes but through a different life.

Sigh! I'm going to have to start saving up that sofa change then, I reckon. Pin It

Saturday, January 15, 2011


It's raining.  It's  cold (by Austin standards). I have the flu.  

Yup. That's yuckiness, folks. Yuckiness all around.

Instead of starting 2011 with a bang and a parade of works of artsy crafty awesomeness that I had planned, I've started it with a cough and a wheeze and a ticker-tape parade of wadded-up kleenex,* 

Perhaps worst of all, instead of baking up my husband a new internet famous birthday (cup)cake(s) (previous years include Frank Zappa and Brain Slug cupcakes), this year, I gave him the flu. Happy birthday, darling!

So, no cake for now. Cake and flu just shouldn't go together. Ever.
Please forgive me for neglecting the blog this week.  It's been a downer of a cherry on top of a downer of a week, believe me.

The cat, however, is very happy.  There's rain to watch, two unmoving people upon which to sit, and plenty of warm and toasty hiding spaces from the cold.

I reckon if at least one of us is happy, that's something, right?

*Why, yes! I am one of those people who use brand names as everyday words regardless of the actual brand of that particular object.  May I offer you a coke?  How 'bout a band-aid or a q-tip?
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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Happy Birthday, Elvis!

Today is Elvis' birthday, so be sure to celebrate in a manner fit for The King. Eat some peanut butter and banana sandwiches, put on your blue suede shoes, and maybe karate chop open a birthday piñata in his honor.

I made this Elvis birthday art a few years ago for a client, but I never did share in on the bloggy blog. So, here it is.

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Alicia, you did not draw this because: 1) this is not a drawing of a cat, 2) this is not a drawing of a girl, 3) this is not in gouache, and 4) this is not your 'style.'"

What can I say? I am multi-faceted, as are my illustration stylezzzz.

Anyway... I like to think that busting up a piñata would be something Elvis would've enjoyed doing. I mean, he seemed to enjoy a lot of other cool things like slot car racing, crazy custom trikes, and some of the awesomest clothes ever, why not piñatas? Everyone loves piñatas!

And now, for your viewing pleasure, some un-piñata related Elvis.

¡Viva Elvis! Pin It

Friday, January 7, 2011

Welcome, 2011!

Yippee! It's 2011, y'all!

We're a week into the New Year and I've slide in just in the nick of time to wish everyone a happy and healthy shiny new year before everyone gets used to dating their checks with an eleven instead of a ten.

That is if anyone wrote checks anymore. Zing!

I was in a non-bloggable world on New Year's Day itself this year, so this girl who is standing next to a big number 20 helping to compose the year 2011 with the help of her handy dandy party knee socks is a smidge tardy.

Please consider this blog post as the note her handwritten excuse note from her mother. She's here now, and so the the year long party that is 2011 can get started already.

And it's gonna be aaaaawe-sooooome! Pin It