Sunday, July 17, 2011

Pisa, Pietrasanta, and Biobli Gardens

Sorry I haven't updated this in a while. I was in a MOOD. Anyway, I guess we should start back where I left off....on Thursday I believe.

I had just gone to see Harry Potter that night, so I consequently did not get must rest. The movie itself was amazing and shown in this old theater. i wish I could have gotten some pictures of it. I would say it was worth it, but I am unsure. The day started off ok. We went to the Michaelangelo family house where we saw a variety of early and late works done by him. I sketched a nice marble piece of a boy in controposto. I thought the sketch was quite nice and had done well. And I had. However, everyone had really stepped it up and did works that were even better than mine. I was a little pissy and sulky as a result (seeing art better than your own when you think your own is pretty good will make you sulky). then we can back to the studio and drew from a model for a couple hours, which I was getting use to. However, I was not used to the medium we were told to use: bamboo pen and ink. I had never worked to ink before and to say it was a disaster would be a grave understatement. Everyone around was doing better than me and getting the hang of the material very quickly while I was still struggling. So eventually I gave up and did nothing of value the rest of the session. Then came critique time where John was really harsh on me (as he rightfully should be) because he knew I could take it and needed the reminder. I saw how well done everyone's pieces where and how shitty mine looked. Jon said we should end early for the day since everyone did such a nice job. I sulked and, instead of going home, started a large self portrait in order to try and get something productive done. It was descent, not great, not awful. After that it was 9:30 and I had been working in the studio for over 12 hours. As a result I was very tired and very cranky. When I got back to the house I was very snappy, which to my housemates is usually a sign of playfulness and gambit; however, today I was not playing. However, we have acquired a new roommate who can crush a bitter mood like she is sweeping it off the front porche. She suggested we bake the cake mix that we bought the previous night, which turned out not to be a baking kind of cake but more of a cream pie. The overall experience cheered me up immensely and I went to bed hoping tomorrow would be a little better.

Unfortunately my sulking mood spilled over into the next day. Instead of getting too little sleep I had gotten too much sleep and was still feeling groggy. I had sometime to try and get over the feeling, but it just wouldn't go away. I lugged myself to painting class (a task in of itself) and got ready for a day of pointless studies I would never use. We were painting from a model today, which might have been interesting if I hadn't been such a bitch. I inked washed the paper too quickly and it began to tare holes on itself causing me to give up prematurely. Then we went to boboli gardens to do more water color painting and see an art gallery on 19th century impressionism. I really liked the museum and it has motivated me to study that type of art; however I was in no mood to paint. So I took my things and went home where I then sulked some more. Once I was home I prepared for my trip and went to bed, hoping tomorrow would be better.

Fortunately it was better. Much better. I got on the train (in fear I would mess something up again like on the trip to venice) and sat in my seat quietly for an hour on my way to Pisa. The conductor camer by and explained I did everything right, all I forgot to do was get my ticket stamped, and that ordinarily there was a fee of 5 euros for not stamping, but since it was my first time he would let it slide (a price I would have easily paid considering the ticket only cost 5 euro). Once is Pisa I walked around for a while exploring the city (and surprisingly not getting lost). I saw the touristy things (the tower, the duomo, the cathedrals, the wall, ect) and some non touristy things and after 3 or four hours had lunch and then was back on the train to pietrasanta. The train went off without a hitch (mostly- i forgot to get off at pietrasanata and had to hop on the next train going back to pietrasanta without a ticket [which I was not caught for]) and I was free to explore the city. The city itself was beautiful. It was right below a beautiful range of mountains and the city was just worn down enough to give that homey feel. There were marble sculptures everywhere and the entire city was over flowing with art. I wanted to get to the beach part of Pietrasanta (marina pietrasanta) and decided I could walk there. I got lost a little and had to ask for directions, but it was still about an hour walk, and with my laptop in my backpack i believe it is fair to say I got a descent workout. Once I got to the beach i quickly find a hotel and unpack my stuff and head to the beach. I wanted to take pictures of the beach first, so I wouldn't be getting in, but I decided to get in the next morning while all the tourists were still sleeping. After I took some pictures I explored the area some and tooks some pictures, did some sketches and got dinner. I was very tired so I crashed early.

The next day I wake up early and got the beach. Now I don't know how similar this beach is to other Mediterranean beaches, but my got it was AWESOME. The water is warm, the sand is smooth and flat, there is very little debris in the sand, it was simply amazing. The waves were so large and this light brown color. Not murky, simply tinted. After about an hour in the water I head back (soaking wet) to the hotel. I shower off all the sand and salt and put on my wet cloths for a bit of breakfast. Breakfast at the hotel was simple sweets and baked goods, but that atmosphere was very cultured and homey. The walls were lined with art ranging from realistic romantic 18th century to cubism of the 20th century. Couldn't have loved it more if I tried. Once I was done breakfast I wait for my clothes to dry and then check out. I then walk all the way back to the train station. Or at least that was the goal. I spent an hour or two trying to find the damn thing, asking many different people for directions. I was just about there when all of a sudden I see my teacher running up to me saying my name. I was dazed at first, half expecting it to be my imagination. I was not. My teacher invited me to sit down, have a drink, and chat with his other students. It was after noon and I was starving from roaming around all day, so I happily obliged. He introduced me to a few of his students: a woman actress from Dublin who had been studying under Jon in marble sculpture for over 8 years (Amanda I believe), a woman from Cubia who had been studying under Jon for 6 and had brought her family with her, her daughter who was been studying under Jon this year and was about my age (her name was Claire), and a professional woman bronze sculpture who was taking marble lessons from jon for two years now (I forget her name). We chatted some and Amanda explained she would be returning to Dublin today and at around 2:30 she would need to catch her train. We chatted some more, about various things, and Amanda explained she must be off. She paid for my water (very kindly and without my approval-she reminded me a lot of you mother: irish spunk) and said her goodbyes, Jon said he would escort her off. Leaving me to talk with Claire while waiting for them to get back. Claire is an average american college student who was from Cubia, like her mother, and has traveled all over. She is a very sweet girl and very normal to american standards, which made nice conversation. Jon and Amanda came back after a while explaining she couldn't get her ticket from the station because the machine was broken and Jon insisted on driving. He then offered to take Claire and myself off to see Pisa, since he was driving to Pisa airport anyway. We both happily agreed, and that was that. Once we saw Amanda off at Pisa airport we went into Pisa (for the second time in two days for me, but I didn't mind, I liked the company) where we took goofy photos of tourists and things of that nature. Then we went to McDonalds (because Claire was craving it and I would eat anything since I hadn't eaten since 9 and it was about 4 now) and got a burger. I have to say the McDonalds here are far more classy than American ones. We ate, chatted, and then Jon took me to the Pisa train station where I said my gratitude and pleasantries and was off on the train back to Florence.

It was nice that everything went off without a hitch and I got to experience so many new things in a day. I was thinking of going to Naples next weekend, but I might actually go back to Pietrasanta because the trip was so amazing for me, and i would love to spend more time with my new acquaintances. Well, that is all for now. I have to get ready for drawing in the morning and painting at night. I will try to post something by tomorrow night, but it will most likely be uneventful and short.

1 comment:

  1. so glad you are out of your mood.
    Is Claire (from CUBA?) studying in Florence, too? or somewhere else? if you go back to Pietrasanta, maybe you can go a bit north. I think it's better for younger people to hang out.